A week, maybe two after I got back from my November 2010 trip to Japan, Nestle released a brand new flavour and it was one that I was more-or-less destined to love. As I mentioned in my review of Blueberry Ramune, artificial blueberry is probably my favourite candy flavour, owing to its rarity, its intensity, and its distance from anything resembling a real blueberry taste. Let’s be honest here, unless you get the most perfect of blueberries, in season and ripe and sweet and delicious, they’re not the greatest fruits. Often sour, sometimes bitter, and occasionally even bland–and even the best blueberries can be jazzed up with a little cream and sugar (it’s like a lazy parfait–try it, delicious).
But that artificial candy blueberry? Why that’s the platonic ideal of the flavour. And so you can imagine how hurt I was, how personally offended that Blueberry Kit Kat appeared on store shelves almost as soon as I left the country. Actually, you probably can’t, because you’re probably reasonable about these things and I am not.
Luckily, the good folks at Asian Food Grocer had my back, and within the week 3 bags of Blueberry Kit Kats were winding their way to me via New York City (thanks to G.G. in NYC for the hookups). And so was the effort, the expense, the waiting, was it all worth it? Spoiler: Oh, oh yes.
Packaging: Probably the most basic packaging you’ll find for Kit Kats is the bag of mini-bars. Sold at grocery stores and convenience stores, the bags take up a gargantuan amount of shelf-space compared to a bar, and consequently they’re a little rarer.
The Blueberry Kit Kat bag though is great, honestly. That Kit Kat logo is huge, and the red and blue contrast nicely. A large, full-colour illustration of bursting-ripe blueberries (blue, not the actual purpley colour) adorns the bag, alongside an illustration of the bar to be found inside. Even without the English-language “Blueberry” on the bag, you know exactly whit this is and what you’re getting.
The back of the bag, theoretically at least, says something about Blueberries. Perhaps in the far-flung future when I can read more Japanese I’ll come back and translate all of these, but for now, we’ll just assume they’re trying to sell us on the magic of blueberries and we’ll go from there.
Interestingly, the mini-bars inside have a purpley-blue wrapper, closer to actual blueberry colour… and it doesn’t seem to say the flavour in Japanese, just English! That might be a first.
Smell: Getting mail is nice. Getting mailed a bunch of Kit Kats is nicer. And the nicest still is why you open up the mail package and you can actually faintly smell the blueberry Kit Kats, so potent was the scent. Opening up the actual bag of Kit Kats was even more surprising–the scent of blueberry leapt out of the bag and perfumed the general area. And let me remind you, these were still wrapped in one more layer.
I opened up my last bag of these last week, and lo and behold you could still get an intense blast of blueberry scent just by inhaling near the open bag that was over 7 months old! What I’m saying is, these are strongly scented Kit Kats. And they smelled great! A full hit of candy blueberry, mixed with the milk chocolate, whether warm or cold they were an automatic hit.
To date, these were the most strongly-scented Kit Kats I’ve ever tried, and that’s saying something.
Taste: Well they’re pretty much perfect, to me. The milk chocolate Kit Kat is a great match with the blueberry, though if you’re not a fruit & chocolate fan you won’t find a lot here to convince you otherwise.
The taste of the blueberry is pretty-much perfect as well. It has a hint of real blueberries, but it’s really strong and fills your whole mouth with every bite. It’s not too sweet either, to my pallette. While I generally find the white chocolate Kit Kats to be overly sweet, the milk chocolate ones are usually a little mellower and enjoyable. I’ve had some variations, strawberry, raspberry, and cherry especially, that were powerfully, face-meltingly sweet, and this was actually kind of pleasant. I mean, not after the 3rd or 4th one, it’s still candy, but you could eat a whole bar of this and not feel ill from the sugar… probably. :)
Verdict: Honestly, it’s one of my favourite Kit Kat flavours. It has that nice mix of the familiar and unconventional that really ‘makes’ a Kit Kat for me, and I could even see this as a limited edition flavour in North America, albeit for a very brief run. Actually in North America it’d probably end up being cranberry. :-/