After that epic (seriously that last post was more than 8 pages long in word, my essays at University were shorter than that) we’re back to what Mummyboon does best.
And that’s reviewing kit-kats.
I can feel the excitement being transmitted down the net tubes.
First up is an autumnal offering that is no longer available but that I’ve been saving for when I finally finished that Kyushu write up.
Sweet Potato Kit-Kat
Sweet potatoes are huge in Japan. They come in tons of different varieties such as ; purple inside, purple outside but yellow inside, long and thing, flat and wide, round like a potato and lots more.
What’s more, being potatoes, they are really versatile and are used in a wide selection of dishes. They can be a savoury accompaniment to a meal, they can be salted and eaten as chips, they can be made into ice-cream (which is my favourite ice-cream in the whole world) they can be covered in syrup and eaten as pudding and they can be added to Japanese curry.
They are most commonly eaten though just baked and maybe with a little bit of butter. Whilst this might sound a bit boring it is anything but. Baked sweet potatoes are so good they could talk a suicidal man from the ledge. They are evidence of a benevolent and wonderful universe. More realistically they are lovely and fluffy, buttery and with a wonderfully complex sweetness. Not the sweetness of sugar that is simple and gone straight away but that of caramel which you can roll around the tongue. A rich sweetness. A sweetness for grown ups.
There are in fact little wagons that traditionally roam the streets of Japanese cities in autumn baking sweet potatoes and making little puffs of sweet smelling steam as they trundle along. Yaki-imo (baked sweet potato) the vendors cry as their little carts trundle along causing flocks of sweets crazed Japanese ladies to flock behind.
And one of these wagons is depicted on the packaging along with some puffs of inviting steam. In fact that steam has been co-opted into the design of the packet. I love that! In the same way that the real steam seems to say “look yummy sweet potatoes,” so too does the packet say “yaki-imo.” That’s brilliant theme-ing in the design there. And they added a picture of a yaki-imo looking fluffy and moist and oh so delicious. Plus it’s a sort of golden yellow, which is officially the best colour a biscuit can be (see custard creams and gold bars for reference).
The design of the individual kit-kat is nothing special, although I note that they’re including the calorie content on the smaller packets now. Apparently the sweet potato ones are 2 kcal’s more per serving than a standard chocolate one.
Considering what they taste like though that is totally worth it.
The taste, oh how can I describe the taste?! Well it tastes like sweet potato to start with but it is so much more than that. It tastes of dreams. It tastes of ambrosia. It tastes of honey and caramel and nectar and Elysium. It tastes of victory. It tastes of loves first bloom. This, my friends, may very well be the perfect kit-kat. This is the platonic biscuit from which all others are mere imperfect reflections. This is a biscuit fit for a deity.
Actually it tastes a bit like caramac only nicer. Does anyone remember caramac? I think you can still get them at newsagents.
Sadly nestle have stopped making them which may be the worst biscuit related news I have ever heard. In fact it is the worst biscuit related news I have ever heard and it’s worse than quite a few bits of non-biscuit related news I have heard. I would go so far as to say that it is much sadder than hearing that someone else’s hamster has died but maybe not as sad as your own dying.
Wow that got morbid. Ahem, excuse me whilst I mourn the loss of the perfect biscuit.
Better now, next one.
Like a normal kit-kat but with nicer chocolate. Considering that kit-kats have crap chocolate these can only be an improvement.
And a whole 4 kcals more per serving, ooh la la, extravagant. Ambassador, with these nice kit-kats you are really spoiling us.
The box is pretty dull, although it does have a sort of festive snow thing going on. What’s more interesting for me is that it is in a box at all. Kit-Kat have fairly standard packaging formats on the whole. There are the 4 bars in a box, small multipacks, chunky, premiums, minis and one or two odd outliers but a square box with 5 double wafers is a new one.
And yes, I just realised that I said I was “interested” in a new box. I think that makes me the world’s only kit-kat nerd.
The packaging on the bar itself is much better. For starters it’s brown, which is the colour of chocolate. It’s as if it is saying “come, see how chocolately I am. I am the chocolateiest kit-kat, I scoff at the red ones, and I fart in its general direction.”
Snooty kit-kat then. And it maintains the winter wonderland theme but it works much better because we aren’t distracted from the snow pattern by a massive picture of some chocolate.
How does it taste?
It tastes like a kit-kat with nicer chocolate.
I don’t really know what to say. We all know how chocolate tastes, well like that. I mean, it isn’t amazing chocolate but it is good for a biscuit and amazing for a kit-kat.
It isn’t as sweet as a normal one and the after taste is actually pleasant rather than that horrible soapy taste you’d get with a regular one. I rate them highly but ultimately it’s nothing more exciting than a chocolate biscuit.
Royal Milk Tea
I despise Royal Milk Tea.
Tea, as every properly civilised person knows, should be black leaves, made in a pot with some, but not too much milk. I will leave the sugar debate open except to say that I drink my tea with sugar. My excuse is that I was abandoned on a building site as an infant and raised by a pack of wild builders who taught me everything I know about drinking tea, turning up late and wolf whistling at ladies.
Alright, that isn’t true, but what is true is that I was raised in Yorkshire, where the general rule of thumb is that tea should be stewed so long and have so much sugar in it that a spoon will stand upright if left in it.
In contrast the barbarians in Japan seem to think that tea should use green leaves, should be mildly infused and should have no milk. What’s worse is that they assert that this is the correct way to do it. They even have some kind of bizarre ceremony to demonstrate the “correct” way to drink it. Whilst there is neither excuse nor explanation for this abhorrent behaviour I have had to learn to live with it and I take solace that proper can still often be purchased.
Proper tea is known as kocha and sometimes as milk tea. Being English I will often ask for a cup of kocha or milk tea if seated in a Japanese café. Usually this will result in me getting a nice pot of tea. Sometimes it will result in me getting Royal Milk Tea.
Royal Milk Tea is not tea. It is some kind of disgusting powder consisting of powdered milk and something brown. When hot water is added it creates a deceptive and evil drink which looks like tea, smells sort of like tea and appears for the entire world to be tea until you drink it and realise that it is in fact the juice from Satan’s nipples.
It is, to be blunt, horrible. It is worse than vending machine tea.
And the worst thing about it, the way it pretends to be English. From the use of the word “royal” down to the packaging it tries to sidle up to England and borrow some of the country’s association with tea in order to pass itself off as something authentically British.
It makes me sick.
So I am not predisposed to be a fan of Royal Milk Tea Kit-Kat.
To start with the packaging is literally enraging. Not only are we calling it Royal Milk Tea but the package is bloody tartan! Tartan!! You don’t get more cosily British than tartan and Royal Milk Tea is the very antithesis of British values. Shortbread comes in tartan packets and Kit-Kats are no shortbread!
And then to make it worse the edge has little caricatures of the palace guard. The palace guard! Complete with bearskins! Does the Queen know about this? Can she sue? This is blatant false advertising, there is nothing royal about Royal Milk Tea but it not only has it in its name but has started adding palace guards!
Frankly this package makes me sick. I am revolted.
I will give it this though, the inside of the bag smells more like a cup of tea than any cop of Royal Milk Tea has ever done.
How does it taste?
It tastes of betrayal and lies.
No, actually it doesn’t really taste of anything. The first few bites are astonishingly bland. They’re a bit creamy and sweet, but pleasingly not too sweet but they taste nothing like a cup of tea or Royal Milk Tea.
In the after taste some tannins start come through (those are the sour notes in tea) that are surprisingly bitter for a kit-kat. But frankly I don’t know if I’m tasting them or smelling my mouth. The smell of these things is really strong but the flavour is aggressively bland. It’s almost as if the flavour was hiding from me in case it made me angry.
I cannot stress how tasteless this biscuit is and that puzzled me for a while until a thought struck me. I often ponder what the purpose of these tea flavoured kit-kats is when surely a kit-kat is designed to be dunked into tea. Perhaps what we have here is a biscuit that is designed to be dunked and absorb the flavour of the tea it is dunked into.
So I made a cup of tea and tried it out.
The difference is astonishing. It went straight from bland to one of the strongest tasting kit-kats I have ever eaten. The tea flavours and tannins come hard and fast and almost knock you out. And it’s nice too. Not too sweet with a lovely rich tea taste. Unfortunately it does have the weird soapy aftertaste that a lot of kit-kat’s have.
So I summary without tea it is boring and crap. With tea it makes a great companion but has a nasty aftertaste. Either way it didn’t make in vomit in rage and revulsion so it is a massive step up from the product it is named after.