Kit Kats are wildly popular in Japan. Part of it has to do with the fact that when said in Japanese, Kit Kat sounds like "Kitto katsu," which in Japanese means "You will (probably) win." Therefore, it's common practice for family and friends to buy their loved ones Kit Kats before a big game or test.
Recently, I've been keeping an eye out for different Kit Kat flavors in Tokyo, and I literally can't keep up. Every time I go into a 7-11 I see a new one. Check out the one I bought most recently:
Kinako Kit Kat
Kinako is a Japanese confectionery ingredient. It is most often in powder form and is made out of soybean flour. It's got a nutty depth to it, somewhat comparable to what peanuts may taste like ground up into powder form.
This particular Kit Kat is pretty far off from the original Kit Kats I am used to. Aside from the fact that it is kinako-flavored, these Kit Kats are nugget-sized! Check out the packaging, where on the top right hand side it peeps "Little" in yellow letters.
The taste is indeed nutty and tastes a lot like Reesesticks. The kinako sticks to your teeth and melts beautifully into the chocolate. Mmmm, speaking of which, I must mention that Japan rarely uses peanuts in manufactured foods. Therefore, most things peanut-related that I took for granted in the US is absent from my current diet: peanut butter, Reese's anything, peanut butter cookies, Mr. Goodbars, etc.
I have a new appreciation for kinako now that I have come to realize that it just might work as a temporary substitute for my peanut cravings. Kinako Kit Kat is a great example of an east-meets-west collaboration.
*Yoko lives in Tokyo. She loves dips, dashi and deals. Tokyo JUNKtion reviews the bizarre stuff she finds in the aisles of the grocery store.