QUICK REVIEW: Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby (Japan)

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby

What is the Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby?

While in Tokyo recently, I made a stop at the Kit Kat Chocolatory store & café and brought home some goodies. Ruby Kit Kats are a new type of chocolate made from unfermented cocoa beans (regular chocolate is fermented). There’s no coloring added, so the dusty mauve tint is the natural shade of the cocoa beans.

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby 2

How is it?

Ruby Kit Kats smell like white chocolate and taste like a blueberry or blackberry-flavored white chocolate. There’s a prominent cheesecake-style tang.

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby 3

It’s a tasty Kit Kat, but I expected something out of left field since it’s a whole new category of chocolate. However, it tasted like something I’ve had before. Without the press releases and special packaging, I would have figured it was just another novelty flavor.

The color is lovely. It gives the illusion that it’s more natural than the bright pink most berry items sport these days. Maybe it is since there’s no coloring added?

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby 4

Is there anything else you need to know?

Wanna know how to spend $42 in a Kit Kat store? This is it. These are ‘spensive – $3.50 for a tiny box. The packaging is so distinctly Japanese – graphically clean and minimalist, carefully wrapping a precious single stick of Kit Kat – as in 1/4 of a standard Kit Kat package here in the US. $3.50 for one finger of a Kit Kat! I was so disappointed, then nauseated by my American-sized gluttony. So I ate another one.

Conclusion:

These are interesting, but no more than any other random flavor variety of Kit Kat. I hope millions weren’t spent developing this new ruby chocolate, because it’s not all that. Try them if they’re easy to get and the price lowers, but don’t bend over backwards to find them.

Purchased Price: 400 yen (approx. $3.52 US)
Size: 12 g bar
Purchased at: Kit Kat Chocolatory main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 g bar) 61 calories, 3.6 grams of fat, 2.4-11 milligrams of sodium, 6.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.61 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Limited Edition Snickers White (Japan)

Limited Edition Snickers White 1

What is Snickers White?

I’m in Japan – the mecca of novelty junk food! Of course, I sought out some new and quirky offerings. The traditional Snickers candy bar gets a paler makeover with white chocolate coating and lighter nougat filling. When I spied these on the shelf, they seemed so familiar, but I hadn’t seen or tried them before.

How is it?

When I unwrapped the candy bar, I didn’t know whether to bite into it or spread it on my toast. It looked like a stick of butter.

Limited Edition Snickers White 2

Once righted, I noticed the white chocolate coating was thin enough that I could make out individual nuts through it. ?
Limited Edition Snickers White 3

The caramel and peanuts here are the familiar and delicious Snickers taste combo, but the nougat is different. It’s slightly lighter in color and taste. I couldn’t tell if it was vanilla flavored or just generic “sugar.” It faded away behind the caramel, peanuts and white chocolate. I’m usually a big nougat fan, so this was a bummer.

Limited Edition Snickers White 4

The white chocolate in this candy bar was the dominant flavor, and very sweet. Cloyingly sweet to me. I found it a little off-putting. It also melted much quicker than the regular chocolate coating, so I ended up with white fingerprints all over my airline seat.

Limited Edition Snickers White 5

Is there anything else you need to know?

Staging an impromptu Snickers bar photo session on a plane will most certainly garner odd looks from the stranger sitting next to you. Be warned.

Limited Edition Snickers White 6

Conclusion:

Snickers White comes off as a too-sweet, washed out photocopy of an actual Snickers. Not as exciting as Snickers’ other recent innovations.

Purchased Price: 140 yen (approx. $1.24 US)
Size: 49 g bar
Purchased at: Family Mart, Shibuya, Tokyo
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per bar) 249 calories, 12.9 grams of fat, 4.9 grams of saturated fat, 280 milligrams of sodium, and 24.7 grams of sugar.

QUICK REVIEW: Coca-Cola Clear (Japan)

Coke Clr

What is Coca-Cola Clear?

I’m in Japan – the mecca of novelty junk food! Of course, I sought out some new and quirky offerings. Coca-Cola has introduced a colorless version of its signature pop – trailing a quarter of a century behind Pepsi in the clear soda arms race. Without all that pesky caramel-y cola, it’s billed as lemon-flavored and is a zero-calorie drink. It is currently only available in Japan.

How is it?

Right out of the bottle, the aroma veers away from the usual Coke. It’s milder with a low-level citrus smell.

Coke Clr 2

I was expecting something with a strong lemon taste, ala Sprite or 7Up, but this was subtler – like squeezing a lemon wedge into your already-sweet seltzer water and adding a dash of cola. Despite the lemon base, it was identifiable as a Coke derivative and had the same sweeteness level, but was lighter and brighter than regular Coca-Cola. It didn’t have the neon citrus feel of other sodas.

While not unpleasant, Coca-Cola Clear failed to establish its own flavor personality. Hence, it’s easier to describe what it ISN’T – it’s not cola, it’s not un-cola. Because of this vagueness of character, I wondered why this? Why now? Is 2018 the right time just because Coke hadn’t done it yet?

Coke Clr 3

Is there anything else you need to know?

Be prepared for the pop. The Coke products I sampled in Japan were packaged in a way that caused the initial rush of gasses out of the bottles to be downright explosive. My travel companion and I startled each other all week with the loud cracks of Coke bottles opening.

Conclusion:

Overall, an OK lightly lemon soda, but as Dr. Ian Malcolm would say – Coca-Cola scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. Try it if you’re a hardcore noveltyist, but only one bottle.

Purchased Price: 48 yen (approx. 69 cents US)
Size: 500 ml bottle (17 oz.)
Purchased at: MEGA Don Quijote Shibuya, Tokyo
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of total sugars and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cough Drop Kit Kat (Japan)

Cough Drop Kit Kat

If I ever need a cough drop to soothe my throat because I cheered loudly when my favorite team scored a touchdown/run/goal/basket/eight-ender or because I screamed, “WHAAAAAT!?” after learning about a cough drop-flavored candy bar, the Cough Drop Kit Kat will not be of any help.

The odd, new confection from Japan is called Kit Kat Nodo Ame Aji, which translates to Kit Kat Cough Drop Flavor. The candy gets its lozengeness from ground cough drop powder that’s been added to the white chocolate.

As you can see below, the pack I bought from eBay didn’t do well during its two-week inter-Pacific trek from Japan. The iconic Kit Kat fingers are almost indistinguishable and the white chocolate looks as if it was melted throughout most of its journey. While it looks like congealed bacon grease logs, the white chocolate has a pleasant peppermint-like aroma. But once I broke off a piece of that Kit Kat bar, an odd stale aroma made its way up my nose, which worried me.

Cough Drop Kit Kat 2

The candy tastes like a generic menthol cough drop, and at times it reminds me of a York Peppermint Pattie, but it’s mild. There’s even a slight cooling sensation, which brought a “Holy crap! That’s awesome!” smile to my face. It’s not even close to being nostril clearing or throat soothing as an actual cough drop, so I’m 99.9 percent sure it won’t help after being hoarse from cheering on an eight-ender.

But while tasting it, I began to wonder if being locked up for thousands of miles on a boat affected its flavor because there were brief moments when my taste buds noticed a harsh flavor that I’ve only experienced when accidentally biting into stale foods. (It happens to me more than you’d think. I don’t read IKEA instructions or check my foods to see if they’re stale.) But I can’t help but think it’s part of the cough drop flavor, because, you know, Japan.

If the Kit Kat had a menthol flavor with a cooling sensation, I’d be into that kinky culinary combo, but that stale flavor, even though it’s very mild and fleeting, gives me pause.

Having tried dozens of odd Japanese Kit Kat flavors, like wasabi, soy sauce, butter, and ginger, I have to say Kit Kat Nodo Ame Aji is the least pleasing Japanese Kit Kat I’ve ever tasted.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 65 kcal, 0.41 grams of protein, 3.7 grams of fat, 7.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 2-7 milligrams of sodium.)

Purchased Price: $5.99*
Size: 3-pack
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Another weird Kit Kat flavor from Japan. At times, it tastes like a York Peppermint Pattie. Cooling sensation is neat.
Cons: Weird stale flavor. Sending chocolate via slow mail.

*Bought it on eBay from a seller in Japan. It costs much less in the store.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Plus Ginger (Japan)

Coca-Cola Plus Ginger (Japan)

For most of my life I’ve thought of ginger as more of a medicine than an ingredient.

When I felt nauseous playing DOOM, I sucked on ginger candy. When I felt something funny in my tummy while watching someone play DOOM, I drank ginger ale. And when it felt like the room was spinning around every time I closed my eyes after playing DOOM, I hung out next to the toilet.

While ginger ale is quite possibly the most popular beverage with ginger, more drinks are being offered with it, like ginger beers, ginger kombucha, and, last year, Pepsi put some into their wonderful 1893 Ginger Cola.

Because of my love for Pepsi’s craft ginger cola, the first thing I sought out during my Japan trip was the new Coca-Cola Plus Ginger.

While Pepsi Japan comes out annually with limited edition soda flavors you’ve never seen in a PETE plastic soda bottle, Coca-Cola Japan keeps it simple by just adding a bit of flavor to the standard Coke and does it at an Olympics-like frequency. About three years ago, Coca-Cola Japan sold a delicious orange-flavored Coke.

It’s funny that the Pepsi Japan flavors are like ideas from a cocaine binge (cucumber, baobab, cherry blossom), while the cola that once had actual cocaine in it ends up being tame.

Much like the amount of orange flavoring in the last limited edition Japanese Coke I had, this soda had the right amount of ginger flavor. You can’t miss it, but it doesn’t overwhelm the cola. To be honest, it tastes right at home with the cola spices. Also, it didn’t burn, like it does with ginger beer. Coca-Cola Plus Ginger is such a great tasting soda that I bought two more bottles at the end of my trip.

If you enjoyed Pepsi’s ginger cola, you’ll like this, if you get your hands on it. It’s only available in Japan for a limited time (it was available in Australia in 2016) or from an online Japanese snack seller. If you think you’ll be able to replicate it by mixing Coca-Cola with Seagram’s Ginger Ale, you won’t because I tried using various ratios and none of them tasted anything close.

I really hope Coca-Cola Plus Ginger ends up in the United States, or at least be an option on a Coke Freestyle machine.

(Nutrition Facts – 100 ml – 44 kcal, 0 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sodium, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 130 Japanese Yen
Size: 500 ml
Purchased at: Lawson Station
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: If you’re a fan of Pepsi’s 1893 Ginger Cola, you’ll like this. Right amount of ginger flavor. Ginger complements the cola spices. Doesn’t have ginger burn.
Cons: Not available in the U.S., but might be available through online Japanese snack sellers. The nauseous feeling I got when playing DOOM.