You may have begun seeing limited edition foods popup around the US like cinnamon roll Oreos or cranberry and sage Triscuits. But in the Far East, Japan has been rolling out crazy flavor combinations for over a decade. Specialty flavored Kit Kats have become so popular there's even a chocolatory boutique in Seibu Ikebukurohonten dedicated to them. To celebrate their millionth customer, the store sold 500 limited-edition Kit Kats made out of edible gold.
Every two to three weeks, a new Kit Kat flavor will emerge and just as quickly as it appears, it's gone. Sometimes flavors will return around the same time the following year, but other times, it was a one hit wonder, never to be seen again. To date, there have been over 200 unique variations of the chocolate wafers.
Sometimes the limited edition flavor will only appear in a specific region of the country, playing into the Japanese custom of omiyage. When someone goes on holiday or visits another city, they're expected to bring back a regional treat for their colleagues. What better way to amuse and delight than to return with buttered corn Kit Kats from Hokkaido or hojicha (roasted green tea) Kit Kats from Kyoto?
With so many flavor combinations out there, here are some of the wackiest we've seen. Happy snacking!
Because if we're going to start talking about weird flavors, let's start off strong. Lemon and vinegar? In a Kit Kat?!
A much more tame combination treat, it's intriguing mostly because of the yellow zebra stripes.
Released in honor of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, nothing's more Canadian than maple Kit Kats.
Not just salt... French salt, and more specifically from the Lorraine region. Sweet and salty is a good combination, but is this going too far?
Pepper and citrus. It's a choice.
Strawberry Kit Kats? Sure, they're actually the most popular flavor in Japan. But strawberry and cheese? Yup. Judging by the picture, it looks more like strawberry cheesecake lost in translation, which we'd be willing to try.
Aloe is a staple in Asian cuisine, and it's good for your skin. You could possibly argue this sweet treat is also a beauty aid. Possibly.
These tasty soybeans are usually eaten steamed and served with salt as an appetizer. They don't scream chocolate dessert, but hey, yolo.
Cola and Lemon Squash
Slightly misleading as the flavors aren't combined, but they are sold together in a single pack. Squash, in this case, refers to a juice rather than the gourd, which is supposedly quite tart.
Doesn't get much more Japanese than this.
I was wrong; THIS is most Japanese Kit Kat. And the spiciest. While wasabi is used all over Japan, there have been multiple variations of the wasabi Kit Kat in Shizuoka, where most of the root is grown.
The Eastern take on "pumpkin spice," Japanese pumpkins called kabocha are small, green, and have a mild taste. These Kit Kats are only available around Halloween.
Red Bean Sandwich
A Kit Kat flavored like a sandwich? This is a limited edition regional specialty only available in Tokai and Hokuriku.
Candied Sweet Potato
Roasted and candied sweet potatoes are a traditional Japan treat so of course they'd make their way into the Kit Kat realm.
No, this is not a pizza-flavored Kit Kat, it's an actual pizza. Available from the Japanese chain Napoli no Kama, this dessert pizza has mango and Kit Kats baked right into the dough. Yum?
In honor of Valentine's Day, the newest Kit Kat to hit the market is non other than sake. Injected in powder form between the wafers and the chocolate, these Kit Kats contain 0.8 percent alcohol so you shouldn't give them to children and are probably best if you don't bring them to work for dessert. On the weekend though? Go nuts. Pre-gaming with chocolate sounds great to us.