Monday, April 14, 2008

Vanilla Beans KitKat & Bitter Orange Aero

KitKat in Japan has been hard at work churning out new limited edition and seasonal flavors. I’ve been kind of picky about which ones I want to buy and review, so here was one that I was particularly interested in: KitKat Vanilla Beans.

    KitKat Vanilla Beans

As with all of the premium limited edition KitKats in the single serve size, this comes in a box with two individually wrapped finger pairs.

It’s basically a white chocolate KitKat. I picked it up because the ingredients listed real cocoa butter, so this is true white chocolate instead of some partially hydrogenated/tropical oil mess.

It features real flecks of vanilla beans in the coating as well, which I’d hoped would be like the rich bourbon flavors of the Green & Black’s White Chocolate bar.

It smells quite milky and sweet, almost cloyingly so. The melt is nice, it does have a good dairy flavor and it’s not as sweet as I’d feared. The vanilla flavor is true and well rounded (not single-noted like the nature-identical vanillin).

The wafers balance it all out ... but I think I could have used a little bit of salt in the cream or something to keep it from being throat burningly sugary.

It’s not spectacularly better than a regular US white chocolate KitKat, certainly not for the price. In fact for the price per ounce the Green & Black’s is a better deal and ethically traded (but you’ll have to add your own crispy element). Rating: 6 out of 10

Bitter Orange AeroLike the KitKat, Nestle goes through a lot of different limited editions of their popular Aero Bar for Japan. Aeros are available in the UK, Canada and Australia but for some reason have never been introduced in the US. (There was a Nestle chocolate bar called the Choco-Lite back in the 70s-early 80s.)

I’ve reviewed the Mint and Milk Chocolate Aero before and have a Caramel Aero in my review queue. The UK also has a version of little spheres (about the size of malted milk balls) called Aero Bubbles. I find the UK Aeros at import shops including Cost Plus World Market pretty regularly.

It’s the Japanese Aeros that are so fun though, especially since they have these cute little individually wrapped nuggets in the Limited Edition versions. I found these at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Little Tokyo but they’re also available online through eBay and JBox. This one is called Aero Bitter Orange and has a companion KitKat bar that came out last year as well. (I tried them but didn’t review them. Pretty tasty milk chocolate with a mellow orange cream filling between the wafers.)

Bitter Orange AeroI opened the package and sniffed it and thought, “mmm, chocolate and baby aspirin.” Yes, it’s true. Orange baby aspirin is also bitter.

It lives up to the Aero name. It is a fluffed bite of chocolate. The orange topping is orangy, not in the least tangy or complexly zesty but slightly bitter as promised.

The bubbles in Aero give it an interesting texture, more fudgy than chocolatey, it’s still a nice confectionery experience. The box makes them seem like a nicer candy treat than perhaps they actually are, as does the price ($1.99 for 1.76 ounces.) Rating: 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. KitKat Red Bean & Fruit Parfait
  2. KitKat Bitter & White
  3. KitKat Cappuccino
  4. Hanahiyori - Green Tea White Chocolates
  5. KitKat Tsubu Ichigo and Hershey’s Strawberries ‘n’ Creme
  6. Mint Aero
  7. Aero
Name: KitKat Vanilla Beans & Aero Bitter Orange
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Mitsuwa Marketplace (Little Tokyo)
Price: $1.49 & $1.99
Size: 1.52 ounces & 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153 & 159
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, Aerated, Cookie, Japan, Nestle, Limited Edition, KitKat

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:32 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Hey, I remember Choco-Lite! Blast from the past!

    Comment by Karen on 4/14/08 at 7:34 am #
  2. I see that you are the real McCoy here.  I’m impressed by your candy analysis, and see that I’ve been seriously outclassed in that arena.  However, I don’t think I can become a frequent reader of your blog, lest I descend into madness looking at these crazy candies I never have seen, and probably never will see, in real life.  Oh, what I would give to put a serious hurting on some Aero bars right now.

    Comment by FriesenPoint on 4/14/08 at 7:41 am #
  3. I just went to Mitsuwa near Chicago a few weeks ago and tried the vanilla bean KitKat and also picked up an KitKat infused with apple favor…very strange! and also very expensive $2.69!

    Comment by Josie on 4/14/08 at 8:41 am #
  4. They used to have Aeros, maybe in the late 80s early 90s.  I distinctly remember eating them as a child, but then one day they disappeared from the market.

    Comment by Alexis on 4/14/08 at 11:46 am #
  5. I’ve had the green tea Aeros and the peach Aeros from the Japanese market- The green tea ones were good, but the peach ones smelled and tasted like peach scented nail polish remover… ick…

    I like Crunky bars and LOOK parfait a la mode bars

    Comment by Chloe on 4/14/08 at 4:08 pm #
  6. “As with all of the premium limited edition KitKats in the single serve size, this comes in a box with two individually wrapped finger pairs.”

    All the KitKats in Japan are packaged this way, not just the premium limited edition ones. If you were to buy a plain Japanese market KitKat, you’d see it has two bars in two packages as well. This is to accommodate the fact that Japanese people eat smaller portions as well as tend to share what they buy. They initially came all in one block of four fingers wrapped in foil, but that changed quite awhile ago.

    Comment by Shari on 4/14/08 at 8:34 pm #
  7. Is it bad to admit that I sort of like the taste of baby asprin? And I do like Aero.

    Comment by rachel on 4/15/08 at 3:39 am #
  8. The Kit Kat Vanilla Beans is very nice, but better, to my taste, at least, is the Shio variety - all the salt you were looking for in these.

    Comment by Les on 4/15/08 at 4:04 am #
  9. i agree, the Shio Kit Kats are surprisingly tasty (if you like the salty/sweet thing…)  but i really liked the vanilla bean ones, too.  i think foreign Kit Kats just plain taste better than ours…

    Comment by Adam on 4/15/08 at 9:34 am #
  10. Aero was available in the United States from the 1936 to 1990. During those years Aeros didn’t sell well and by the 90s it got pulled out. However they can still be found nowadays at shops geared to British items, British expats that live here in the US, and some specialty stores, Kroger, Meijers, other places, etc

    Comment by Harvey on 12/30/09 at 3:33 pm #
  11. this is the Holy Grale of all British candy… I really wish this was sold here in the US- I even started a Facebook group about Nestle Aero being sold in the US

    Comment by Harvey on 12/30/09 at 3:34 pm #
  12. I too remember Aero bars as a kid, but then as a state that bordered Canada we used to get quite a bit of Canadian candy here. At that time in the 60’s and 70’s we had a loose unspoken free trade agreement, as long as the taxes were being paid no one really complained or stopped it.

    Comment by maryann on 5/12/10 at 3:53 pm #
  13. I’m so interested in exotic candy and when I saw this post, I quickly got my hands on these. This is my reviews.

    I loved the Vanilla KitKats. I’m always a sucker for vanilla, but these were nice and creamy, while not too artificial.

    The bitter orange aero was good also. The chocolate and citrus pair up very well!

    Comment by Rebecca on 1/17/14 at 1:57 pm #
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