Easter Bunny KitKat

As seems to have been the case recently, it’s up to the UK again to show Japan how it’s done.

Of all the western holidays that Japan could have imported pieces of, it’s been strangely reluctant to touch Easter.  Which is odd, given that once it’s been stripped of all its religious significance and dignity, it’s really all about the chocolate.

And so here’s what is usually a regular two-finger KitKat, now a single bar simply adorned with the smiling face of the Easter Bunny.  Job’s a good ‘un.

Easter Bunny KitKat

KitKat Rilakkuma Ichigo Milk

Rilakkuma is a… hmm… bear character of some sort.  Beloved of little girls, presumably.  I dunno.  I’ve no desire to put any effort into researching it, or explaining it.  Please don’t explain it to me.

The KitKats are a creamy strawberry as the name suggests, but by Jove (I’m feeling very English this afternoon) they’re sweet.  And being an omiyage pack, there are a lot to get through.

KitKat Ichigo Milk

KitKat Chunky Caramel (UK)

You get home tired from work and there’s a package poking out of the top of your mailbox.  Inside there’s not one, not two, but three Caramel Chunkies!  If that didn’t happen to you today, well sorry, your life just isn’t as good as mine.

What I like about these, particularly after months of being messed about by Nestlé Japan, is that there’s no finesse, no bullshit, no lofty claims and therefore no disappointment.  They are indeed chunky.  And there’s a big sticky line of caramel down the middle.

Get yer laughing gear round that.

KitKat Chunky Caramel

KitKat Maple

You know that feeling when your team’s ace striker gets around the last defender, sends the keeper the wrong way, and with an empty goal gaping in front of him, scuffs it wide.  Meet the KitKat Maple.

I’m not dissing the maple flavour.  Far from it, it’s lovely.  If only it had been milk chocolate.

But of course it’s white ‘chocolate’, and a great goal-scoring opportunity has been wasted.

KitKat Maple

KitKat Sakura Maccha

Sakura, I’m sure you already know, is cherry blossom, and maccha is special powdered green tea.

And I hate to be cynical, but seeing as Nestlé Japan are, I’ll play too.

There’s such a thing as over-egging the cake.  Gilding the lily.  Mashing two national treasures together for no reason other than to shift product.

As we’ve seen before, Nestlé Japan like to bang that cherry blossom drum.  And we haven’t been short of maccha editions either.

And what you get when you put them both together is neither.  It certainly tastes of both, but why?  Like opera and freefall skydiving – you may love each individually, but I can’t think of a single reason to force them together.

KitKat Sakura Maccha

KitKat Kinako Ohagi

We’ve met kinako before, in special omiyage edition, and in the 5-star bar edition, so you know then that kinako is toasted soy flour, right?  Doesn’t sound too tasty in English, I’ll grant you.

An ohagi is another one of those traditional sweets that I avoid, on account of it being a mochi (soft rice cake), filled with azuki beans, and coated in the aforementioned toasted soy flour.  I know.  Ideas on what constitutes sweet treats differ greatly from culture to culture.

Well, there’s very little of the ohagi, and quite a lot of the kinako, which means a lovely nutty flavour suiting the smooth milk chocolate.

By my crude rule of thumb (noting how many were left in the shop and for how long) these were not terribly popular with the locals, probably for the very reason I loved it.  It’s a nutty KitKat, not an ohagi.

KitKat Kinako Ohagi

KitKat Miso

In the pantheon of Japanese KitKats, it had to come up sooner or later – Miso.

Have to say, when I see a gloop of miso (to use the official term), the last thing that springs to mind is sweet sugary treats.  And oddly, when you pop one of these in your gob, the last thing that’ll spring to your mind is miso.  It’s another one of those vaguely-caramel-if-we’re-grasping-for-a-flavour editions, by no means offensive enough to scar you.  In fact won’t leave much of a mark on you at all.

KitKat Miso