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Marathon Reviews: KitKat

I was never much of a KitKat fan growing up.  Then again I wasn’t much a fan of anything outside the most sugar and chocolate-drenched concoctions.  A regular Hershey bar sometimes quenched those cravings; I always forgoed the dark, nut or air-filled variants (Cookies n Cream is another story).  When you’re a kid, you want the exciting stuff, something KitKat never had.

So why honor something I’ve no fond memory of with a comprehensive blog?  My best retort is that lowered standards really do things to a man.  Not low enough to the point of trying or enjoying Ramen noodles per se, but if you’re like me and have tried losing weight, you know you’d better damn well open up.  So go figure that, in the past couple years, I’ve found myself enjoying an occasional KitKat.  And by occasional I mean once every eight months or so.

But enough about my lovely success story, let’s have a look at our real stars.

KitKat really aren’t doing much in the creativity category.  Sans three popular flavors and a typical selection of sizes, what do they offer that’s so different?  I may be pre-critical, but even Milky Way jumped at more opportunities in the past who-knows-how-many decades.  And let’s be honest, who (voluntarily) buys Milky Way?  I should probably get off this tangent.

KitKat

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 package (42 grams)
Calories: 210 (90 from fat)
Total Fat: 11 grams (7 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat)
Cholesterol: Less than 5 mg
Sodium: 30 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 27 grams (less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 21 grams sugar)
Protein: 3 grams

Tearing the wrapper off our classic KitKat unveils the nice, clean look these bars are known for.  Whatever the guys at Hershey do to make these appealing certainly works, since I can’t recall ever opening an unappealing KitKat.  If only they could do similar work with excess skin from those who lost weight “too fast.”  But don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve had a deformed Hershey bar or Reese’s, those are a whole other ballpark.

The wafer-to-chocolate ratio is nice and balanced, which is helped by the fact thin traces of chocolate sneak in-between layers of wafer.  I still think it’s crazy that something as boring as wafer, even mixed with the awesomeness of milk chocolate, comes out so well.  It shouldn’t be this good, but for some reason it is.  The sweetness is just right, which is probably why it works so well (those 21 grams of sugar).  In fact, if it weren’t for the fat and inherent consequences that come with all sweets, I’d call this a sinless treat.

A standard KitKat proves to be something that works well and simply makes sense.  At the same time, I can’t call it one of the best candies out there.  It’s like chocolate cake with vanilla frosting: good (maybe even great) on its own but, as we all know, yellow cake with chocolate frosting is better.

The Verdict: Grab It On Sale

KitKat White

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 four-piece bar (42 grams)
Calories: 220 (100 from fat)
Total Fat: 12 grams (8 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat)
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 45 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 26 grams (0 grams dietary fiber, 18 grams sugar)
Protein: 3 grams

Now we have KitKat White, which certainly has a more eye-catching wrapper than the standard KitKat…if only for the fact it’s white instead of the standard red/orange wrapper.  I’m a bit of a sucker for white chocolate, despite the fact it’s so plain.  It’s like vanilla ice cream in that you don’t think much of it on its own.  But when that stuff is mixed with the right ingredients it becomes a right mouthgasm.

However, things aren’t always what they seem.  We have supposed ice creams being “frozen dairy desserts” (I’m looking at you, Edy’s) and here we have a KitKat bar simply called “KitKat White.”  And unlike the standard KitKat which reads “Milk Chocolate,” these simply say “Crisp Wafers ‘n Creme.”  What’s more is that there’s no sign or mention of ANY chocolate in the ingredients.  Disappointment has already settled in.

One funny note is that regular KitKats read a serving size as “1 package” while White goes an extra mile to say “1 four-piece bar.”  I guess we’re supposed to take comfort in being compensated via the wrapper print.

Stripping the candy bar(s) I immediately noticed the coating has some thin spots.  I’m not sure if this is also the case with regular KitKats, but if it is, the chocolate does a good job covering up traces of laziness.  As I already mentioned, white chocolate is amazing when mixed with the right stuff.  But again, it’s a plain flavor which is being mixed with the boringness that is wafer, so I became increasingly hesitant.

It’s very tough to pick up the taste of the creme coating until you start getting the aftertaste.  But while you’re chewing the bar itself the wafer actually overpowers the creme.  That alone should speak all you need to know.  I always love a smooth, creamy taste, but this one isn’t nearly as good of a match as milk chocolate KitKats.  It isn’t bad or even remotely repulsive, but my fellow white chocolate comrades can easily live without this candy.

The Verdict: Toss It In the Spill

KitKat Dark

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 bar (42 grams)
Calories: 210 (100 from fat)
Total Fat: 11 grams (7 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat)
Cholesterol: Less than 5 mg
Sodium: 30 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 27 grams (less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 21 grams sugar)
Protein: 3 grams

And here’s KitKat Dark, whose announcement of permanency on store shelves sent some people into a gushing (like Gusher) phase.  Hardcore Candy Blog followers will know what I’m talking about.  Once more, there’s different wording for the serving size on these packages, simply reading “1 bar.”

I’ll be honest, much like regular KitKats, I was never a big fan of dark chocolate.  In most regards I’m still not too keen on it.  But like white chocolate, when mixed with something good, I’ll enjoy it (dark chocolate raspberry cupcakes, anyone?).  Looking at the nutrition of all three KitKat bars, it saddens me that a bit of chocolate and wafer is enough to give you more than a day’s worth of saturated fat.

But shrug all that aside upon unwrapping the KitKat Dark, as you’re immediately greeted by a prominent dark chocolate smell.  I was also glad (and surprised) to see the dark chocolate looked the part too, since the chocolate is far more black than the milk chocolate KitKats.  Upon biting, I felt the bar was a bit firmer than the others, which might have to do with a thicker covering.  The flavor itself is a fairly decent chocolate taste and certainly has more character than KitKat White.  I’m no closer to boarding the dark chocolate wagon than I was before, and while I had more inclination to finish the Whites, KitKat Dark does work better for what it is.

The Verdict: Grab It On Sale

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Blog, Candy, Food, Review

 

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