Nestlé’s Kumamon Ikinari Dango KitKat

F5354D8A-4C00-4F18-B2DD-2D02474C313EWho doesn’t love it when someone brings strange flavors of KitKats to a party? NO I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE. Friends either coming back from Japan, or hitting up the local cool Asian market on just the right day; it’s always a good time. This go-round, I was that friend hitting the H Mart at exactly the right time. Or the wrong one, depending. What I’m saying is that I’d seen their delicious Matcha flavor…but missed out by not picking them up immediately. So here we are, with dango “flavored” candies as a consolation prize. And to quote an old meme, I am disappoint.

The bag has a giggling Kumamon (the adorable bear mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture), and a photo of their local dango. With about twelve Halloween/”fun” size individually wrapped candies inside, the presentation is wonderful. But once I cracked open a bar? Um.  It tastes like you put a scant teaspoon of red bean paste into a vat of vanilla icing, wafted a sweet potato – a real one – over the mix, then blended that with a ton of white chocolate. Pow! Kit Kat? Sure, yeah. The (non-) official 411 on this flavor? Take it away, Japan Haul!

“Here is yet another unique Japanese Kit Kat flavor! This flavor is designed to taste like ikinari dango, or mochi filled with sweet potato and azuki red bean.”

Just say no, kids. Why? Because while I love me some KitKats, and absolutely love a tasty tasty dango or three (though to be fair I’ve never had the Kumamon Prefecture’s spin on the treat #mitarashidangoforthewin), the sickening sweetness of each bite of this KitKat made me nauseous after downing a single fun-sized packet. I found myself longing for a delicious sake flavored KitKat. Seriously, seek those out because they’re a lovely blend of white chocolate sweetness and sake tang. And as I typically eschew white chocolate due to its status as an abomination in my sight, that’s a high compliment from my taste buds.

And all my dislike of poor Dango pains me. Yeah, I’m typically a proud Grinch when I need to be, but this time I’m hating on charity. Because Dango proceeds go to Nestlé’s Kitto Zutto Project, which helps “people in disaster-affected regions,” in this case the earthquake ravaged Kumamoto Prefecture. All I can say is that I wish I’d had the Kumamoto Tea–flavored candies instead, because they look lovely. And because poor Dango isn’t doing anything for me, besides spiking my blood sugar levels. Sorry, Kumamon, I just can’t continue with these “treats.” But I know you’re better than this. I still love you.

Denise Kitashima Dutton

Denise Kitashima Dutton has been a reviewer since 2003, and hopes to get the hang of things any moment now. She believes that bluegrass is not hell in music form, and that beer is better when it's a nitro pour. Besides GMR, you can find her at Atomic Fangirl,, or at that end seat at the bar, multi-tasking with her Kindle.

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