Now I know I am a skinny cook, but confectionery is of such interest to me. The packaging, creative flavours and pure diversity is just so darn enticing! Damn those clever marketers! I am still coming to grips with the fact that while chocolate and candy should comprise a tiny part of our diet, it takes up half our grocery stores. While I resist the urge to buy chocolate most of the time, one chocolate bar that has sparked my interest is the humble Kit-Kat. While it may not have an illustrious career in Australia, the Kit-Kat is Japan's most beloved snack. And conquering the competitive snack food market in Japan is no small feat. Visiting a convenience store in Japan is a breath-taking experience, with glittering packaging, inventive and umimaginable foods, and endless choices. For someone like me, who would admittedly buy anything in pink or glitter, I would find an excuse to pop in just to gawk.
Now while I think chocolate dominates our grocery stores enough, in Japan, Nestle's faithful chocolate bar the Kit-Kat has its own dedicated aisle. Visitors to this aisle will find Kit-Kats in a stunning array of flavours, from soy sauce or sweet corn, to salty caramel or blood-orange. Kit-Kat has something for everyone.... I'm sure there is someone out there who just has to have that soy sauce Kit-Kat!
Over a decade, Nestle has produced more than 200 Kit-Kat flavours to suprise and delight. So famed, one advertisement depicted a student taking a rhinestone emblazed Kit-Kat to an exam as a good luck omen and now one quarter of Japanese students do the same! Some flavours are traditionally inspired, such as pickled plum, mashed edmame or red azuki bean. Others capitalise on particular seasons in Japan, such as the cherry blossom Kit-Kat, only sold in Spring. Some Kit-Kats are sold in specific regions, the potato Kit-Kat is sold in Hokkaido, which is famous for producing spuds.
While it is impossible to list all the Kit-Kat flavours, let your tastebuds imagine these: pineapple, green tea, chestnut, caramel macchiato, apple, espresso, pumpkin, muscat grape, watermelon, vegetables galore, sweet vinegar and beef! Beef?! Have you tried any of these? I think I need to do further investigation... think of the cupcake possibilities!