There’s a dangerously porous line between a cough drop and candy. It’s difficult to resist the temptation to treat a lozenge as I would a bonbon.
Earlier this week, Nestlé Japan addedKitto Katsu Nodo Ame Aji (のど飴)—that is, "cough drop"—to its portfolio of Kit Kat flavors. It’s made with 2.1 percent cough drop powder that's compressed into two wafers, muffled beneath a mask of white chocolate.
Japan is home to a thrilling variety of Kit Kat flavors. It's a catalog that covers quite a spectrum: Hokkaido melon with mascarpone cheese. Sake. Roasted hojicha. Rock salt. Muscat of Alexandria. Soy sauce.
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The union of white chocolate and menthol, though, may strike some as unpleasant-sounding. I’ve gleaned as much from most of the coverage of this news stateside that expresses milddisgusttowards this new product. This variety is billed as a “fresh and invigorating” blast of flavor, and the packaging for the candy bears the face of soccer commentator Yasutaro Matsuki. The release of the candy is attached to Japan's upcoming qualifying matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it's meant to soothe the scratchy, hoarse throats of soccer enthusiasts.
The candy will only be in stores in Japan until September 10. If only I lived in Japan! I’d certainly try it.
What's your favorite Japanese Kit Kat flavor? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.