The Ultimate Kit-Kat adventure continues and this time we’ve got a duo of cheesecakes and some random citrus fruits.
Yokohama Strawberry Cheesecake
This is, sadly, another flavour I’ve tried before. Last time I wrote.
“The smell is strong and really distinct. This is obviously a strawberry cheesecake and nothing else. This is pretty much perfect actually, not too strong and not too weak. However mine are a bit old now and there is a weird element of sweaty cheese to the odour.
The taste is sweet but not too sweet, a touch gritty but not waxy and with a nice mild creaminess to it. Cheesecake definitely comes to mind but it tastes not one iota of strawberry. The strawberry flavour is completely absent. Weirdly there are some weird sharp cheesy notes, like cheddar or something. Not a feature I associate with cheesecake or with Kit-Kats.
The after taste is ungodly sweet and really harsh. It’s dehydrating and sits at the back of the throat like a cough. That’s not strictly speaking a bad thing though because these are meant to be eaten with a hot drink.
All in all a bland and inoffensive Kit-Kat that would go well with a hot drink.”
I also moaned that the individual wrappers were boring beyond all belief being just flat cream and red bands but that the box had a nice wrapper with a lovely red brick pattern. This ties in nicely with Yokohama as the city is one of the of the most international in Japan, it was one of the first cities to establish permanent trading ports with the outside world. For Japanese people red brick buildings are considered a western thing and something unique to a few places in Japan, including Yokohama.
Well thankfully they took my advice to heart and the individual wrapper is just a smaller version of the box and incorporates the lovely red brick pattern that is so evocative of Yokohama. This is the most attractive wrapper from this box so far.
Apparently it’s not an age thing; the sweaty cheese odour is present even in a fresh Kat. Again I’m mystified at that since cheesecake usually uses a soft white cheese with a fairly bland flavour. This though smells like cheddar you’ve left out of the fridge. Or feet. Chocolate should not smell of feet. Even Quentin Tarantino doesn’t love feet so much that he wants his chocolate to taste of it.
This time around I can definitely taste strawberry but it’s fighting to get in there with some other flavours. Sweet is obviously the main thing you can taste along with some sour cheese notes that, again, are more reminiscent of cheddar than a cheesecake. I get a strong sense of the creaminess of a cheesecake and fighting to get you to taste it is the strawberry. It’s like a royal rumble in your mouth. All the flavours come in at once and one by one get knocked down. First goes strawberry, then cheese, then sweet and finally only creaminess remains; but what’s this coming into the ring? Why it’s horrible waxiness and his tag team mate soap, and oh they just took a chair to creaminess. And waxiness has booted soap out the ropes. It’s waxiness, waxiness is the champion!
And again like before there is a weird sense of dehydration in your throat when you eat one and an aftertaste that is pretty foul.
I might have given the impression that I don’t like these all that much but they’re actually not bad. The fight in your mouth is quite pleasurable despite the notes clashing a bit. The main problem is the aftertaste which is waxy, slightly salty and pretty sour. Wash it down with a nice brew though and this works just fine.
Joetsu Koushinetsu Blueberry Cheesecake
Oh joy another cheesecake. Well at least it’s one I’ve not tried before.
The packet actually has a photo of some fields and meadows which is a distinctly un-Japanese setting. Forests, yes. Snow-capped mountains, yes. Cities, yes. The sea, fuck yes. Fields? No, I think I saw 3 pretty scared looking blades of grass in the entirety of Kobe; it’s just not something you see a lot of. So I had to do a bit of research on Joetsu and Koushinetsu and from what I can tell that’s a golf course.
Koshinetsu is not a prefecture (like a state in the U.S.A) but basically a geographical area (like New England or the Mid-West) encompassing the prefectures of Nagano, Niigata and Yamanashi. This is a very fertile area due to the climate and there is a lot of farmland. But farmland in Japan doesn’t look like rolling hills and meadows for the most part, it’s flat rice paddies. So I have no idea what that picture is of and my best guess is it’s a golf course since apparently there are a few in the area.
Whilst the area is famous for farming and undoubtedly produces a lot of blueberries it’s not really famous for blueberries per se, nor cheese, so I have no idea why they chose this flavour to represent Joetsu. Nor am I sure why they feel it necessary to represent Joetsu at all. Joetsu is a small city in the Niigata prefecture and we already have a Kit-Kat for all of Niigata with a flavour that is strongly identified with the area. Why not just double up on Niigata? After all there are two entries for Shinshu and technically that doesn’t even exist anymore (the area known as Shinshu should more properly be called Shinano and is entirely contained with the Nagano prefecture now). Kobe and Osaka don’t rate a Kit-Kat and Osaka is the second most famous and most populated city in the country. Whose cock did Joetsu have to suck is what I’m asking. Not out of idle curiosity either, if I find out who maybe I can get meat pie flavoured Leeds Kit-Kat. It makes as much sense as some of the other flavours.
The packet is a mess, we have a big photo that makes no sense, and it’s overcrowded and unattractive. I give it props for two things. One is its blue, not something Kit-Kat has always remembered to do with their blueberry flavoured products. Two, I think the photo of the blueberry cheesecake looks delicious and I want one. I don’t necessarily want a blueberry cheesecake Kit-Kat but it’s a big step in the right direction.
I am disappointed immediately when I open the packet because it smells of sweaty cheese and that to me says this is going to be very similar to the Yokohama strawberry cheesecake, actually though, it is very different. For starters the sour cheese notes are totally absent outside the smell. Secondly the blueberry flavour is much, much stronger than the strawberry. In fact it overpowers almost everything else so the prominent flavour is definitely blueberry. The other flavours are there though but in a supporting role. That’s what they should be doing though. Blueberry is the lead singer and cream, sweetness and richness are the rhythm section. The creaminess, the sweetness, they should support the fruit flavours not ruin them and this does the trick nicely. It’s also not nearly as sweet as Kit-Kats usually are and despite the coloured chocolate does not taste of soap.
It does have a slightly sour aftertaste and the problem of drying out your throat like the strawberry cheesecake but this is a vastly superior effort. A really great Kit-Kat.
Citrus Golden Blend Flavour Chugoku and Shikoku
Wow Chugoku and Shikoku kind of get screwed.
Shikoku is an entire island, the smallest of the main islands admittedly but still one of the 4 main islands of Japan. It could deservedly get a flavour of its own. Chugoku is a geographic area that basically encompasses the bottom part of the main island; again this is a fairly large area with lots of different cultures and even major cities like Hiroshima. Hiroshima doesn’t get a flavour? Hiroshima has some of the most iconic and distinctive food in Japan. Yet Shinshu, which doesn’t even exist anymore, gets two?! Are the family guy manatees selecting Kit-Kat flavours now?
Citrus Golden Blend is apparently a mix of orange, lemon and lime judging by the packaging. That actually sounds nice but rarely do the nice sounding Kit-Kats ever turn out that way so I am cautious about this one. We’ve had dabbling’s with lemon before and they haven’t worked out well.
The packet is one of the better efforts in the bunch. I like the patterning of light and dark orange as the main colour and the almost tropical leaf and citrus designs incorporated into it. It evokes freshness and a certain modernity. It’s not very Japanese but it is very aesthetically appealing. Also like the Dorayaki flavour it isn’t a central bar of one colour and two bars either side but one main colour and a bar off to one side. With as crowded a design as they apparently have to be (since they need to cram the Kit-Kat logo on there and the calorie info) it’s a smarter use of space than trying to make it symmetrical. I also like the gold border which adds a touch of class to the otherwise relatively modern design. This is a nice looking packet.
The Kat is a surprisingly deep orange in colour and smells strongly of oranges when you open it. It tastes of oranges. No lemon or lime that I can discern just, orange. It’s a nice orange though, fresh and fruity and just sour enough. It’s also not too sweet. This is a surprisingly competent flavour here. The initial taste is sweet orange, and then you get a sour note that kind of elevates the sweetness and fruitiness. It’s even got a nice clean aftertaste. It’s a tiny bit soapy but the sour notes do a lot to help clear that flavour from your mouth. In fact it leaves your mouth quite refreshed, not something I normally expect chocolate to do let alone terrible nestle chocolate.