It’s raining today, and being cooped up inside means finding something interesting to do. I remembered a little treat I had in the okashi (snack) cupboard that I had passed many times in the aisles of pretty much every supermarket we shop at, only last time, I picked up a bag.
Japan is famous for a lot of things, but one thing we seem to get the most questions about are the exotic types of Kit Kat flavors that are available here. There is even a gourmet shop in the basement of a department store in nearby Ikebukuro that sells the rarest of flavors at premium prices (think in the neighborhood of $4 per American sized Kit Kat bar).
Kit Kat for common folk used to mainly include only dark chocolate, the ubiquitous matcha (green tea) and more frequently, strawberry. But as of several months ago, a new flavor began showing up regularly: cheesecake. And this was no ordinary cheesecake flavor; the picture on the bag showed a bar after it had been toasted in the oven for a few minutes.
Generally speaking, when it comes to snack food, I’m not one to add any extra steps between the process of getting it from the bag to my mouth. Perhaps that’s why I waited months before actually picking up a bag to try it. When a chat with my friend led to more Kit Kat talk, I remembered my secret stash and decided to give it a try. So here is my report of the “unwrapping” of the Baked Cheesecake Kit Kat.
Opening up the bag, you find 13 cute, individually wrapped Kit Kats. No surprise there. This is Japan, home of the cute and the wrapped. (And also, home of unnecessarily detailed instructions for things you shouldn’t really need instructions for unless you’re an alien being visiting Earth for the first time, in which case you’ve come to the right country.)
The instructions on the wrapper, from what I can make out with my terrible language skills, basically tell you to please use a saucer or tray to toast your Kit Kat in the oven. If you fail to use a saucer or tray and your Kit Kat catches fire and burns your house down, don’t say you weren’t warned. 13 times. Being an American, I completely ignored the instructions and used a piece of foil instead.
I popped the Kit Kat into the oven, turned it on and a few minutes later, voila! Out come the perfectly toasted bars of sweet goodness.
So I know what you really want to know is how they taste. Well, I was skeptical that the the taste of any candy bar could be improved by a few minutes in the toaster oven. And I was completely wrong. It’s hard to completely describe but the flavor reminds me of the top layer of a creme brulee, but with the melty wonder of white chocolate with a hint of cheesecake flavor. It is heaven and I am hooked.
So if you’re not a fan of more traditional Japanese Kit Kat flavors like sakura (cherry) or wasabi (green horseradish), you’ll probably want to give this amazing flavor a try. If I don’t buy them all first.