A classic! Candy, Candy, Candy!
Oh boy, I see I’ve been doing a lot on food lately. It’s hard not to, though, considering how much I love to cook and eat : D
I have arrived back into the U.S. with my fiance and finally to Ohio about a week or two ago and behold! My Valentine’s Day gift was awaiting me!
Yes, it’s well past Valentine’s Day; however, this package was ordered back in February from JList and sent from Japan via the cheapest shipping possible. That means it got here just a few days before I did!
If you know me at all, you’ll know that one of my favorite things to do is try other places’ take on snacks, candies, fast food – basically junk food – we know well and love in the US. It’s a fascinating way to see and think about what it is that a company determines is profitable about a brand and it’s offerings, as well as how those products need might to be adapted for it’s own particular market or how open to experimentation and deviation said market might be. KitKat in Japan is a fantastic example of a combination of knowledge one’s brand and one’s consumers with a willingness to push the boundaries – even if it’s just a little piece of chocolate.
On the other hand, I must be frank and say that the level of experimentation that companies do in the US is dismal and disappointing. When I heard that M & Ms were (was?) doing a flavor contest, I hurriedly called my mom from India and begged her to search high and low for me for 1 bag each of the new flavors.
Really? The most exciting you gave me was Chili? T-T
Anyway, let’s get to the exciting part: EATING *^_^*
First, the Sake KitKats:
This box is super cute. It feels…special somehow. As a limited edition flavor for 2016, this packaging makes it feel special enough to be a gift. But what about what’s inside?
The candy itself looks like your typical white chocolate KitKat. The aroma, however, is markedly different. If I didn’t already know that this was supposed to be the flavor of sake, I have the feeling the smell would strike me simply as a rather strange, low-quality white chocolate – kind of like those Palmer’s milk easter bunnies….yarf.
Pleasant. It actually tastes nothing like white chocolate KitKats. Does it taste like sake? Questionable. The tiniest hint of sweet alcohol coats the tongue and hangs in the mouth once the chocolate has been swallowed. Having had sake, I can definitely say that it is reminiscent, but if I hadn’t drank sake before and liked it, this would not be a win. This would definitely be a non-win.
Should you buy it? If you like new experiences, definite YES. If you need clear, distinct flavors, NO. The sake-flavored KitKat sits firmly in the uncanny valley of flavors.
It tastes like this looks – familiar yet somehow not right…UNCANNY
Alright, enough about eating things that taste like drinks. Let’s chat about drinking things that taste like eats.
If you aren’t familiar with Sakura (Cherry Blossoms), a Google search is going to show you some incredibly fragile pink flowers abloom and profuse in Japan. Many of these trees do not produce actual cherries, depending on how they were cultivated. Well then, what would a Sakura-flavored drink taste like?
Well, Starbucks thinks it tastes like strawberries, and it seems they threw in some matcha (green tea powder) because…well, because it’s Japanese-y, I guess -> Starbucks Melody on Cherry Blossom Frappuccino
Photo courtesy StarbucksMelody
I beg to differ with this interpretation, however. Much like lavender in foods and drinks, my expectation is a much more floral flavor profile. Too floral, though, and it tastes like soap (hello, rose sharbat in Mumbai!).
Pepsi takes a stance somewhere in between these two. The pastel pink liquid initially has a faux berry flavor – think KoolAid or “flavored water”. The fizz is pretty refreshing and does make one think of an early warm spring day. After the soda starts to settle on the tongue, the sweetness actually is just a step away from being too much and then an aftertaste of jelly beans kicks in. It kind of tastes like a sweeter, less tart Starburst pink jelly bean. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you!
I absolutely LOVE trying wacky things like this. I am hoping to do more in the future! Have you ever tried anything like this? What was it? How was it? Is there anything you are curious about, but too afraid to try?
In fact, leave a comment below telling me what wacky, unusual, or interesting snack you’d like to try between now and Friday, June 24, 2016 and you can win one of these little (two-bar) Sake KitKats of your own to try! (Note: these can only be shipped domestically within the US; sorry!) Same goes if you share this post on Twitter and tag @rainbow_hearts9 or Facebook and tag my page : D
See you soon for more fun and yum!