/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Nestle Kit Kat Shinshu Apple
Nestle Shinshu Apple Kit Kat
Posted: 30 March 2014
The Shinshu Apple has a sweetish artificial apple aftertaste meshed with the milk chocolate base. It makes for an interesting combination. If this is your first taste of a Japanese Kit Kat, you'd likely be
surprised enough to be impressed. Shinshu Apple should impress the cheap date you're trying to get into bed.
But the more sophisticated prospect will demand something a bit more elegant.
price/gram: USD 0.035
*Cocoa %: 21
* Estimated cocoa solid content
When I first started
reviewing chocolate bars on the Chocolate Republic, I swore
the site wouldn't review "mainstream" bars. I was
probably a bit too trigger happy when I made that statement.
What is considered mainstream largely depends on what country
you live in. A Hershey bar won't turn heads in the
United States, but can seem exotic enough to Asians,
Australians, and Europeans who constantly see Americans eating them on
TV and wonder what this famous brand actually tastes like.
Chinese-made Hershey products are a big seller in Thailand. American
ones are popular in Korea.
Over time, I have revised my
approach. I featured
Hershey bars on the site to
compare the U.S. version with the Chinese-made ones so
prevalent in Asia. And I
bars from a number of different nations simultaneously
continued to review various Cadbury bars from throughout the
world as I was able to sample them. I gradually
began to realize that a mainstream bar in one country could
have an extremely interesting tale to tell if that tale were
told in another country.
Take Kit Kat. I grew up
thinking this bar as commonplace as any Hershey bar. In fact, the Kit Kats I grew up eating were
manufactured by Hershey. Kit Kat came in but one variety -- uncompelling milk chocolate enrobing thin wafers.
Individually, the chocolate and wafer are unexceptional.
Together, they are a snack addict's wet dream. When I first
traveled to Europe in the late 1980's, I tasted Kit Kats
there, also the same one-horse variety. The bars
tasted different because, as I found out later, Nestle
manufactures all Kit Kats worldwide except for the USA.
It was only in the last two
years that I noticed Kit Kats available in a wide variety of
flavors, and that's because my stepson pointed them out to
me when we were walking through a duty-free store in Japan.
Japan has become as obsessive about modifying and improving
Kit Kats today as they were about modifying and improving
automobiles back in the 1970's and 1980's. Indeed,
Japan has introduced over 200 different flavors of Kit Kat
over the last 18 years, a dizzying array I might add.
And lately, a subset of this diverse batch has been exported
to other nations, creating a parallel market of sorts. The milk chocolate Kit Kat, made locally or
regionally, is always available, to compete with the much
more expensive but more interesting Japanese imports.
My wife picked up a
six-variety pack from the local gourmet store for a pretty
penny, and we sat down to taste test them. The
labels and ingredient listings were entirely in Japanese,
and for me to determine some of the rather interesting
flavors I was ingesting, I had to go onto the internet to
match the pictures on the labels to pictures of the bars
with their names translated into English.
For the uninitiated, biting
into a Japanese Kit Kat can be a shock to the taste buds.
One one hand, there's the sense of the familiar, the crunch
of the flavorful wafer which constitutes the core of any Kit
Kat bar. But then, on the other hand, you start
tasting all these other weird and wild flavors. The Shinshu Apple has
a sweetish artificial apple aftertaste meshed with the milk
chocolate base. It makes for an interesting
combination. As a child, I savored chocolate-covered
apples for Halloween, and the combo worked in limited
quantities. Nestle Japan pulls the reverse
by creating a chocolate bar covered in apple (flavor).
If this is your first taste
of a Japanese Kit Kat, you'd likely be surprised enough to
be impressed. It's
so new and different. After you've tried a half dozen different types, you start appreciating which of these psychedelic East Asian flavor combos
work and which don't. Shinshu Apple should
impress the cheap date you're trying to get into bed.
But the more sophisticated prospect will demand something a bit