Ichimi KitKats


Remember The Motherlode? I’ve been really bad about tearing into it, mostly because the box is so pretty. But it’s time.

The top drawer in the box is labeled “Shinshu / Tōhoku.” The only flavor from Tōhoku is zunda mochi, which we’ve already covered. Shinshu has Shinshu Apple, which we’ll try next time, and these:


Ichimi KitKats

Ooh. Shiny. Gold.

Ichimi is a Japanese ground red chili, similar to Korean gochujang but spicier and not as sweet. I like some spice in my chocolate on occasion (most recently in Frost’s Aztec Chocolate Doughnut), and it does seem pretty trendy lately. I don’t know if the fad’s hit Japan yet, because it sure took a while to get some spicy KitKats. But were they worth the wait?

The first bite is subtle — the coating is soft, slightly melty, very dark. Not quite as dark as the Semisweet, but close: slightly bitter, strongly chocolate in flavor, it’s really a nice change from Nestle’s usual, over-sweet approach.

It’s only after a moment that the bitterness just kind of becomes heat, a transition so smooth that you almost wonder whether the taste was really bitter at all, or if it was just the first stage of spice. The fire is surprisingly strong, though it builds up slowly. Two bars and five minutes later heat was trailing all the way down my throat, warm and toasty.

If that all sounds very mellow, it’s because I’m super-happy now. This was probably my favorite new flavor in a very long while — well-balanced, delicious, and perfectly timed for the turn in the weather. I’m really glad that Nestle trusted the flavors enough not to blast us with sweetness for once. I’m also suddenly curious what a shichimi KitKat would taste like.

Well, that’s one down. Hopefully the rest of the box continues this trend!

More KitKats

tags: candy , japan , kitkats

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