/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Nestle Kit Kat Japanese Chili
Nestle Japanese Chili Kit Kat
Posted: 30 March 2014
The Japanese Chili Kit Kat is one of the more conventional variations. It is chili-infused
'dark' chocolate coating the wafers this time.
The exact percentage of cocoa solids is unknown.
I've estimated, for lack of better information, a lowish cacao solid content of 37%. Having said that, Japan has always been a master at turning low quality ingredients into something extremely flavorful.
Nestle must have tossed a lot of cash into formulating a darkish tasting bar with just the right amount of background chili flavor, not too pronounced and not too spicy. The combo works wonderfully in
this Kit Kat bar.
price/gram: USD 0.035
*Cocoa %: 37
* Estimated cocoa solid content
Who the hell knows how many varieties
of Kit Kat are in
the market place in Japan concurrently? You'd be forgiven
for thinking that Japan
has been experimenting with hallucinogenic Kit Kat combos for
The reality is that Kit Kats
differing from the standard only started appearing after
1996 - in the UK. It was really only after 2000 that the
obsession with creating the newest and slickest Kit Kat took
hold in Japan. The true obsession is with sales.
Kit Kats, wherever they've been available, have always
ranked in the top five of confectionaries sold. This
stranglehold on the top sales slots began to weaken, and Kit
Kat wanted new ways to excite younger buyers.
This type of variety
expansion has been happening with a lot of brands besides
Kit Kat. M & M's, once available in just plain and
peanut, are now found with almonds, crispy rice, coconut,
pretzels, and then some. Snickers comes in a peanut
butter variety now. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups offer a
chunky option. You get the idea.
What sets Kit Kat apart from
the other variety seekers is the sheer number of different
combinations. Over 200 have been conceived in the
weirdest potpourri of flavors. Soy sauce? Creme
brulee? It's like Nestle Japan instructed their food
scientists to come up with any flavor their minds could
conceive and let the market place decide which flavors remain in production.
The Japanese Chili Kit Kat is
one of the more conventional variations. It is
chili-infused 'dark' chocolate coating the wafers this time.
In the past on the Chocolate Republic, I have reviewed other
dark chili chocolates.
Chili in chocolate no longer turns heads.
Kit Kat's Japanese Chili is
not very dark chocolate. The exact percentage of cocoa
solids is unknown. E-mails and faxes to both
Nestle Japan and Nestle's corporate headquarters in
Switzerland for specific information about the Kit Kats I
was reviewing went ignored. So I erred on the side of
predictable caution. Mainstream brands have a habit of
being very liberal with the word "dark" in order to trumpet
all the benefits dark chocolate is meant to have. As
there is no legal definition for what constitutes a dark bar
(as opposed to milk chocolate, which must contain a certain
amount of milk solids and minimum cocoa solids), you have
Cadbury claiming their Bourneville bar is a dark one when it
only contains 39% cocoa solids, which is less than some of
the milk chocolates I've reviewed on this site.
The huge conglomeration
Nestle has become, with over $5bn in annual profits, has never
shown itself to be a company for the people. When
Chinese authorities discovered higher-than-acceptable levels
of iodine in milk formula, Nestle tried to weasel out of it
by insisting that their iodine content was acceptable in
other markets. While that may be true, that doesn't
magically grant Nestle the authority to manufacture products
for local Chinese consumers to standards considered
unacceptable by the local authorities. This is a bit
like American car exporters insisting that their right-hand
drive cars should be automatically acceptable for the 35% of
the world's population which lives in left-hand traffic
countries. Nestle has long been opposed to GMO-food labeling
and has funded attacks against it. Former CEO and
chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has insisted that free water
is not a human right and that all water should be
privatized, suggesting a price of $4/gallon.
Why would a company this
"ethical" be concerned about really making a genuine dark
chocolate bar with primo ingredients? Hence, I've estimated, for lack of
better information, a lowish cacao solid content of 37%.
Having said that, Japan has always been a master at turning
low quality ingredients into something extremely flavorful.
Japan's Meiji Black bars
don't use real cocoa buttter but cheap vegetable oil
instead, and they still taste better than some bars made
with cocoa butter. Nestle must have tossed a lot
of cash into formulating a darkish tasting bar with just the
right amount of background chili flavor, not too pronounced
and not too spicy. The combo works wonderfully
in this Kit Kat bar.
I have yet to taste the
British-made dark Kit Kats which use a 70% cocoa solid dark
chocolate. I would not be the least bit surprised that
this Japanese Chili bar, with likely half the cocoa solids,
tastes darker and more flavorful. Then again, the
Japanese invented sushi, miso, and the elegant tea ceremony.
Whereas the British have come up with meat pies, Cornish
pasties, and a drunken brawl after a soccer match.