Thursday, December 10, 2009

Corn Kat?! Sapporo Limited Edition

So I got a shipment from napaJapan the other day, a wonderful new J-snack website that has insane amounts of product when compared with any other site out there. (Still getting around to throwing some of their graphics/links up on the blog here) They have over 360 products in stock, most of which are food items, including over 25 flavors of Kit Kat (as of this writing) as well as massive selections of Pringles, Hi Chew and other popular Japanese snacks, and some not-so-well known stuff, too! In addition to their already-established monster selection, they add new products almost daily, and if you follow the Japanese snack/food/pop culture scene at all you know that Japan loves "limited edition". So having a site that stocks new flavors of things that change their flavors almost monthly is quite a boon for anyone living outside of Japan who doesn't have immediate access to a konbini every minute of the day. (like me, for now, for one) =P So if you like what you see here, click the link above because chances are napaJapan carries it & I probably bought it there! Additionally, before I get to the actual Kit Kat I consumed today, they are super-prompt with shipping, too. I placed my order on Sunday of last week, shipped it by Airmail which usually takes 7-10 days and sometimes longer during the holiday season, and it got to me by Saturday. I was pretty amazed. Also, they use new, clean boxes and everything was packed really well.

Anyway, I'm working my way up to trying out my Wasabi Kit Kat - not quite at that level of bravery yet. ^^; Being in Hokkaido, napaJapan got ahold of a stock of the two Hokkaido regional flavors: Yubari Melon (cantaloupe for those of you residing across the pond) and Roasted Corn. The Roasted Corn flavor was my approximation of "manning up" to eventually try the Wasabi ones. If you can read Japanese, it says 北海道限定 or Hokkaido Limited, on the box.

Before I delve into the actual product, I'd like to take a minute to point out a neat feature of this version. As I said, these are "regional flavors" and are only certain ones are sold in certain locations throughout Japan (usually a fusion of whatever that area is famous for, poured into chocolate form). For instance, Yubari Melons are grown and come from Hokkaido, so that flavor of Kit Kat is only sold there. Japan may be a small country, but it has so much variation from place to place while still being largely homogeneous. While being varied, but so compact at the same time, it's easy to institute the gimmick that Nestle built into these regional flavors. When you purchase a flavor, it has a spot for an address, postage and a message on the back. Yes, that's right, you can trade or send flavors as a gift (which is also a very Japanese quality, so clearly Nestle has some sharp cookies in their Japanese offices) so you don't have to travel up and down the tokaido and thensome just to taste every flavor. They're labeled as "Kit Kat Tabi Saki Mail" near the top left of the package, tabisaki means destination or goal.

As for the Kit Kat itself, I have to say that much like the Ginger Ale flavor it was so accurate that it freaked me out. This was not, "Oh this almost tastes like Kinako," or, "Doesn't this Macchiato taste just like the Tiramisu Kit Kat that was out this Spring?" This flavor tasted like buttered-corn which, considering that they cracked the formula on artificial butter flavoring on popcorn ages ago, kinda deflates the mystique. However, it did taste like actual corn, it was bizarre not feeling the individual kernels or anything. (For comparison, there's a smoothie shop at one of our malls here that serves peanut butter smoothies and the texture of "smooth peanut butter" is one of the oddest things I've ever run across) The coloring is exactly as you see on the box (I was too lazy to take a pic of the actual thing), a pale yellow just like a cob of corn.

I'm not a huge fan of corn, though I do like it. This was more of a curiosity thing, and a chance to bolster my bulletin board full of "really cool J-snack packaging". That said, would I buy this again? If they were of the $2 variety, sure, but I wouldn't pay $8 for these again. Though they are quite good, if you like the taste of corn, I heartily recommend them. (lulz!)

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