I HOARD JK FOOD: Eastern Japan KitKat Assortments

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Last year, I was able to control myself from buying any KPop albums in this very tempting, eardrum-busting event called KPop Convention.

IMG_1360“Not even that seemingly following eyes of Changmin will tempt me to buy his merchandise!”

But when I walked into this certain Japanese snacks stall, a part of my paycheck disappeared and I suddenly have boxes of rare Japanese KitKats and Giant Pocky in my bag without me knowing it.

magicmeme“GONE! Like magic!”

Buying Japanese or any kind of foreign snacks outside that country almost doubles the price of the original. When I was in Sakai Japan, a normal 12’s pack of Matcha KitKat costs around 180 to 200 Philippine pesos ($4 to $5) but when sold here, it climbs up to 250 to 350 Philippine Pesos ($5.5 to $6). And that’s just the standard Japanese Kitkat Matcha! The more rare the flavor is, the more expensive it is… so imagine the moolah I lost in this single box!

IMG_6062“Life is like a box of Chocolates — drains the f*ck out of you!”

I got this from the KPop Convention in a staggering price of P580 ($12.9)!!!

For those who earn US dollars, $12 is a big deal here in the Philippines. It can already buy a month’s supply of shampoo and conditioner! Or eat a meal for one in a fancy restaurant!

AND YES… there’s that “I’m an incredibly cheap person!”

“I empathize with this cartoon character every time he loses a dime!”

All I could recognize from the box is the Kanji for the word “East” which is a very common Kanji / Chinese character used in the country.

tohoshinki“I cannot read kanji, but when I do, it is either a name of a South Korean boyband which characters are usually seen in the word ‘Tokyo’, shrines, and road signs.” 

There’s information at the back of the box that points to where some of the flavors came from, but unfortunately, I can’t read them. I can assume that it also includes the Western Japan Assortments too.

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The flavors inside the box are as follows:

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Since I can’t read Japanese, I asked Google for some answers.

1. Nagoya Red Bean Sandwich

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 I made Bungeoppang (taiyaki in Japan) before so I have an idea what this may taste like — RED BEANS.

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The smell of red bean greets you upon tearing up the aluminum foil. You can definitely taste red beans  in this chocolate! Yes, I know it’s a bit strange, but somehow they made it work.

2. Shinshu Apple

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Upon tasting the Red Bean KitKat, I am expecting a lot from the Apple flavor. Because usually, watery fruits doesn’t usually mix with chocolate. I am curious how our Japanese dessert artisans would turn this around.

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The thing with Japanese Kitkats is that they somehow knew how the sense of taste works. It is not solely our tongues  distinguishes flavor but also our noses. The apple scent is very strong, almost like your standard apple air freshener, but when you take a bite, it is dominantly chocolate. The apple flavor mostly comes from the smell.

3. Wasabi

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So… Shizuoka is in Eastern Japan?

I already tried a whole box of KitKat Wasabi’s and wrote an entry about it here.

4. Yawataya Togashi (chili)

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So? How will a Spicy KitKat fare with the common spicy chocolate? Will it leave me disappointed like the Wasabi flavor?

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At first, it tastes like ordinary chocolate, but as Choi Siwon said, the spice comes after. The spiciness arrives like how the hit from vodka does, leaving a weird spicy aftertaste in your mouth.

5. Yokohoma Strawberry Cheesecake

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Strawberry cheesecake is one of the sought after desserts in whatever method it is prepared. The company already produced an another cheesecake variety in Blueberry flavor.

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If you are a fan of cheesecakes then you won’t be disappointed by this Kitkat form. Like the Blueberry variant, it really does leave a cheesecake sensation. Of course, sans the texture of cream cheese.

6. Edamame (Zunda)

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There’s been cheers about the Zunda flavor on Rocket News 24 and it even says that the Zunda flavor will leave you wanting for more. That’s why I placed this at the end of this post.

IMG_5902“I got too excited, so I didn’t wait for it to warm up a little.”

I never knew what Edamame tastes like because we don’t grow it here. Before I knew this was a certain green bean, I first thought that it resembles more like the local flavor additive “pandan”, but it is impossible to assume it is pandan because the grass thrives only in tropical climate like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

Although, a tip from the website greatly helped my connoisseur experience with this Japanese snack. Pair it with coffee and it enhances the flavor.

Most of the bars, when I tried it, was not paired with coffee, what happens is that the initial taste of milk chocolate or ice cream comes first, but give it a few minutes, that weird aftertaste lingers in your mouth.

After I have compiled this post, I tried the Orange Kitkat from the Western Japanese Assortments, paired it with black coffee, and the flavor was not just an aftertaste, but it merged with the chocolate and enhanced the flavor, not just through smell. You can really taste whatever the packet is saying.

“Coffee is friend!” (sxc.hu)

But my review for the Western Assortments is reserved for another post.

Judging from the map behind the flap and the little knowledge about it, Nestle Japan produces these variants to entice young Japanese in buying these and to add a touch of uniqueness since they are marketed as gifts and souvenirs. Every area has their own unique Kitkat, whether a specialty of that region or to simply have young travelers something different to take home with them.

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I really do enjoy unique snacks, and when I get distracted or had that itch for impulse buying, I don’t go for the typical girly craving for clothes, but with these. I buy a box or a pack whenever I see them, but given how expensive each one of these are, I am suddenly paralyzed and become emotionally attached to it that I can’t eat them all by myself. Believe it or not, I only eat just a piece of each flavor or a half bar only, and the rest, I share it to others. So they could try it too, especially when the addiction and love for Kitkats run deep in our genes.

And it’s not good for my health or waistline either.

Now some of my friends would ask why they can’t have any? AGAIN… the KitKat addiction is in our genes, before it goes outside our house, it has probably been consumed by my siblings!

Oh, and… my personal favorite of all six is the Red Bean Sandwich. That’s the one I’ll be craving… for a very long time!

IMG_3151“Maybe because… Asian?”

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