Monday, May 21, 2012

Tokyo Nihonbashi Kuromitsu KitKat

This is one of the regional KitKat varieties that I picked up at the airport on the way out the door when I left Japan. It's important to say that my husband was the one who spied this and wanted it because he interpreted "kuro mitsu" (black sugar syrup/honey) in Japanese to mean "brown sugar". Since this was going to be one of the last things we'd purchase on Japanese soil, I didn't want to rain on his parade and I said, "sure, go ahead". The truth is though that I didn't think this wasn't going to taste like brown sugar as he knows it.

People who bake know that there are different types of brown sugar. People who eat may know so as well, but for most people sugar is sugar. Most people don't know what caster, demerara, muscovado and turbinado sugar are. The more sophisticated sugar consumer tends to know three things; white, brown, and powdered. I'm no culinary snob so I don't care if people can separate different types of sugars. Unfortunately, my husband is one of the types who knows only the three shades of sweetness previously mentioned. It's dark and sugar, so, it's going to be brown sugar. Yay! Brown sugar! He loves brown sugar.

I'm here to say that kuromitsu ain't no brown sugar. It's a type of syrup that is often used on warabi mochi and other Japanese sweets. It's fine and dandy for various applications, but it's not pleasing to the palate of someone who is looking for that very definable flavor that comes with oatmeal cookies, pecan pie, and spoonfuls of cavity-creating pleasure taken straight from the brown sugar bag. The question of whether or not the flavor pairs well with the white chocolate and wafer combo of a KitKat is also a very valid one.

I'm sorry to say that, having spend 840 yen ($10.63) and having 12 mini bars (69 calories each) on hand, that it isn't the greatest pairing. Speaking as someone who likes the sublime combination of kuromitsu when drizzled over soft blobs of kinako-coated warabi mochi, I was especially disappointed, but not surprised. I think that the bland mochi and nutty toasted soy flour (kinako) are a nifty pairing, but sweet white chocolate is not its friend. It's sweet and intense paired with more sweet and slightly milky.

On top of this being a very so-so KitKat, there is also the fact that it has to be one of the oddest  regions to offer a KitKat from. Nihonbashi is a business district in Tokyo. It's not a bad place to go or anything, but it's hardly a heavy tourist district and, as far as I know, it is not really related to kuromitsu. It does relate to the Mitsui family who brought Mitsukoshi department store to Japan so this may be a play on words (mitsu, Mitsui), but it seems a tenuous connection at best. I think Nestle Japan is either trying to hard, or not trying nearly hard enough.


A Girl's Guide to All Things Makeup said...

I just found your blog and its awesome! Thanks for this review, I almost bought it on ebay because of curiosity but thankfully i found your post in time.

Orchid64 said...

Glad to hear that I saved you some money and that you're enjoying this blog!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

TordyClarkinTokyo said...

my kuromitsu kit kat arrived today. I love Kit Kats but unfortunately I made the mistake of eating one of these. Ah, ye gads, cloying sweetness. I ate two, hell who am I kidding, three of these teeny bars, just to try get the point of it. The delicate flavour of the kuromitsu, but dearie me, they mudslid this one with the glack of the white chocolate.
I hate life right now, it's only been ten minutes since the last bite. Can't drink enough lemon juice to cleanse myself. Blick.

World of Snacks said...

Great blog! We just took a look at the same snack on our blog. Take a look!