Japanese Snacks: Hello Kitty Candy and Sea Salt Kit Kat

In which there are no bad candies — wait, there’s one horrible one — and one extremely cute sticker.

It’s funny, because I never really liked American Kit Kat, but a lot of the Japanese flavors I find genuinely delicious. I also like to buy them because they are a fairly approachable way to introduce friends to Japanese candy. And I’m a big fan of combining salty and sweet flavors, plus I absolutely loved the Setouchi Sea Salt and Lemon Kit Kats they had last year, so the minute I saw the word salt in these Ocean Salt Kit Kats I was extra excited.

I took off the price tag to spare your pity for the import prices on this stuff. (^_−)

The packaging is also very nice, inside and out. The outer package has a cute picture of a seal, as well as the information that for each package sold 10 yen will be donated to an NPO called Zero Waste Japan. What was more surprising is that the inner packages also have dear animal designs – I counted seven in my pack of twelve.

I’m not sure the top one counts as a design, but we’ll go with it.

Unfortunately, when I tried them they were just pretty underwhelming. The main flavor I got was simply white chocolate, which isn’t exactly a draw. There were subtle notes that reminded me of one candy I really like in its white chocolate version, Kinder Bueno, and I could tell that there was a slight amount of salt flavor deep in the cookie itself. But since when are Japanese treats so wimpy? Compared to the relatively bold flavor of the Sea Salt and Lemon, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed, and sent the rest of these along with Mr. B for his class.

It’s been rather slim pickings lately at the Asian markets, for both supply and demand reasons, but I also managed to pick up another interesting thing: these Hello Kitty candies.

The candies are in the cute flower shapes shown; they do look very nice.

They come in grape, apple, and lemon flavors, and I had, er, mixed feelings about them.

  • I tried the grape first; as I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I never like American grape candies, but I tend to quite like their delicate, grape-ier Japanese equivalents. Here….no, not so much. These were everything I dislike about American grape flavor, but so much more intense. So much more.
  • After the above, I was a little apprehensive to try the lemon. In the end, while it wasn’t as good as most Japanese lemon candies, it basically tasted like a Lemon Head, which is pretty okay as far as I’m concerned.
  • I had mixed feelings about the apple before I tried it, but it was actually by far the best of the three. It’s a typical Japanese apple candy flavor, but I’m very fond of those.
Watch out, little yellow bird — you might just get mistaken for a lemon!

Honestly, I never feel like getting to try a new candy is too much of a waste, even if it’s not my favorite. And in the end I got this really cute Hello Kitty sticker — 1970s/1980s overalls Hello Kitty is the best Hello Kitty, according to me, at least!

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