Friday, August 4, 2017

Flavor of California Strawberry Kit-Kat Bars - CVS

Flavor of California Strawberry Kit-Kat Bars - CVS
I'm a hypocrite. I called these boring, and reminded the general foodie-public that this flavor has been available in Japan for years, but I bought them anyway. In my defense, it's been a tough week.

Remember how I managed to kneel in poison ivy last week while cleaning up my yard? Well hold on to your hats, because this week I discovered poison sumac with (nearly) my entire body. I look like I have greyscale! I had never seen poison sumac before this week and even though I was wearing thick gloves while working in the yard, I still managed to get it...pretty much everywhere. Including the right side of my face. (Call me Princess Shireen.) It's been an itchy, miserable week, and while buying every variation of calamine lotion CVS had to offer, I noticed that their "Flavor of" candies were on sale. It was a buy one get one 50% off deal, so decided to treat myself to some sweets thinking they might take my mind off the itch. (Spoiler alert. It isn't working.)

Comparing this to the Flavor of Hawaii Coconut Almond Kisses, I prefer this location's packaging. The various shades of pink creating iconic Californian landmarks is playful, without being too obnoxious or over exaggerated. I felt like the Kisses had this caricature-like nature when it came to portraying their location, this is is more...classy? Well, not really classy, but it definitely feels like it's playful while being somewhat-serious about it's location-based subject matter. I also love the contrast of all these pinks with the teal-hued skyline. It's not my favorite Kit-Kat design of all time, but it's far from the worst.
In Japan, the bars usually come in single serving packages of two, connected, bars. In California, you only get one, tiny, stand-alone, Kit-Kat bar. It's one lonely little...finger? bar? Whatever you call it, it's tiny and you only get one of them. Not bad for an individual portion, but it doesn't live up to the old slogan. "Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar." There's nothing to break or share here.

Once opened, the aroma immediately gave me strawberry instant pudding and strawberry Nesquick vibes. It's a sweet, but artificial strawberry scent, but you can tell what it's trying to emulate. Actually, years ago I had those Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers and this smells a lot like the confectionery coating of those!
I took a bite, and it tasted milky, mild, and sweet, like the coating of Strawberry Pocky (which I'm not a huge fan of) and then it fades into a slightly tangy, but more authentic, freeze-dried strawberry powder flavoring, mixed with white chocolate candy melts. It's strawberry-like enough for you to guess what it's emulating, but it misses the brightness of real strawberry flavored sweets and confections. Like strawberry ice cream. Thankfully the crispy wafers add some texture and prevent the coating from being overly sweet.
Towards the end I tasted some milk chocolate-notes, so I pried one of the bars apart to get a closer look, and I think the filling in-between the wafer layers is actually the same mild chocolate filling as normal Kit-Kat bars. I like the chocolatey finish. I feel like it helps to mask any artificial aftertaste left behind by the strawberry flavoring, but it's not enough to win me over. I'm not a fan of strawberry-flavored chocolates, but these will not go to waste. My boyfriend absolutely loves them! He actually got into the bag before I could even review them and ate a handful. He's anxiously been awaiting for me to get this posted so he can polish them off without fear of being scolded.

So if you're like me, and dislike fake strawberry flavored sweets, this is just more of the same, but if you're like him and love Strawberry Pocky, Nesquick, and Meiji Apollo, this is a dream come true. All the flavor of Japanese strawberry-infused white chocolate without the hefty imported price tag.
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