Trips to the supermarket are filled with foodie wonder for me, and this trip was no exception. Just when I thought my Japanese Kit Kat journey had concluded (for now at least), I spotted yet another unusual Kit Kat from the Land of the Rising Sun! When the words ‘pudding’ and ‘chocolate’ appear in the same sentence, the thought that commonly pops up is chocolate-flavored pudding. The newest member of my snack stash defies the usual chocolate-pudding norm by bringing the flavorful bond to another level. I hereby introduce pudding-flavored Kit Kats!
The experience of munching on a crunchy pudding-tasting chocolate wafer is unmissable in my book. “Pudding” that is in the form of anything beyond a soft and creamy dessert isn’t something that is normally seen in the shops! Therefore, I couldn’t resist adding this treat to my supermarket haul. As much as I was excited to taste this confection, my curiosity about puddings in Japan was unlocked.
Pudding in Japan
Pudding – or ‘flan’/’custard pudding’/’crème caramel’ – is undeniably one of the desserts that unites sweet tooths around the world. In Japan, this custard pudding is called purin, which is a Japanese twist to the English word ‘pudding’. While sleuthing, I noticed that purin generally refers to traditional custard puddings with a caramel sauce on top. Also, purin can be prepared in various methods. Baked, non-baked and steamed purin are some of the most popular options to make this sweet eat.
On my pudding-laden trail, I realized that purin is a “must-try” dessert in Japan. While it does possess Western roots, purin is a widely-adored dessert in the Japanese culinary scene. Purin is available at convenience stores and supermarkets, and it is on the menus of some local cafés and restaurants. Pudding fans will be tempted to add various places with purin to their itineraries when planning their trips to Japan!
In the midst of my pudding journey, I realized that entering the pudding realm can result in adventurous innovations and experiences. This is mainly because caramel custard pudding is adding its stamps to various eats that aren’t presented in a non-custard consistency. Pudding-flavored cookies is one such example that is seen quite often. Other treats that caught my eye by pushing the pudding envelope further are the Pudding à la Mode Frappuccino by Starbucks Japan in 2019 and the Pucchin Purin McShake by McDonald’s Japan in 2020.
Considering that Kit Kat Japan has a seemingly never-ending list of unconventional flavors, it is unsurprising that their chocolate has entered the pudding sphere. In fact, there is more than one pudding-centered Kit Kat! Some of their pudding-inspired creations include the autumnal/Halloween pumpkin pudding flavor, bake-able custard pudding Kit Kat fingers, and the Kobe Pudding flavor that is exclusive to the Kobe region.
Back to the Kit Kat!
Like all special Kit Kats, the pudding Kit Kat package’s aesthetics is as unique as its flavor. From bits of sleuthing, I discovered that the inspiration behind this fun design is the joy of spending time with loved ones. This explains the illustration of a family who is bonding over the process of making their very own puddings!
Taking a peek inside, the cute paper-like package is filled with 12 mini Kit Kats. Each wrapper features a short message in Japanese, with the exception of one wrapper that contains some blank space for a customized message to be penned for a personal touch.
The pudding experience began as soon as I unwrapped my first Kit Kat. The creators behind this flavor have nailed the scent, as it closely matches the tempting aroma of decadent custard puddings with a caramel sauce on top. It turned out that the aroma was a preview of the flavors I was about to experience!
My introductory bite evoked my taste buds’ memories of experiencing the flavors that appear in regular caramel puddings – but in a mini chocolate bar. A wave of caramel’s distinctive taste arrives first, followed by a white chocolate-custard pudding note, and it concludes with the taste of wafers. Based on the flavors, I could imagine diving my spoon into a custard pudding with a generous helping of caramel sauce, and with a dash of wafers! In the name of science, I dissected my Kit Kat to investigate how pudding’s effects come to life.
Two elements, namely the chocolate coat and the wafer stack, complete the pudding puzzle in this Kit Kat. White chocolate is the chosen chocolate base to introduce the custard part of puddings. The white chocolate-custard duo blends together seamlessly. Both flavors are present in each bite, with custard stepping into the lead role while white chocolate’s signature mildness elevates the main flavor.
In the stacked filling, the wafer biscuits taste like the ones that are included in regular Kit Kats. The part that makes this stack extra special is the caramel cream that sits in-between each wafer piece. Sweet and caramel-y, this cream replicates the flavor of caramel sauces that complement custard puddings. Fitting the two pudding puzzle pieces together, my taste buds were treated to a sweet yet delightful confection!
I enjoyed tasting this Kit Kat and learning more about puddings in Japan along the way! I can’t wait to see what’s next on my foodie journey!