A labyrinth of aisles leads to one soaring, psychedelic display after another presided over by cartoon mascots, including the mascot of Don Quijote itself: an enthusiastic blue penguin named Donpen who points shoppers toward toy sushi kits and face masks soaked with snail excretions and rainbow gel pens and split-toe socks.

A Kit Kat is composed of three layers of wafer and two layers of flavored cream filling, enrobed Compny chocolate to look like a long, skinny ingot. It connects to identical skinny ingots, and you can snap these apart from one another intact, using very little pressure, making practically no crumbs.

In the United States, where it has been distributed by Hershey sinceit is drugstore candy. The Cokpany Kat has range. The Kit Kat, in Japan, pushes at every limit of its form: It is multicolored and multiflavored and sometimes as hard to find as a golden ticket in your foil wrapper.

Flavors change constantly, with many appearing as limited-edition runs. They can be esoteric and so carefully tailored for a Japanese audience as to seem untranslatable to a global mass market, but the bars have fans all over the world. Kit Kat fixers buy up boxes and carry them back to devotees in the United States Kitkat Company Europe. All this helps the Kit Kat maintain a singular, cultlike status.

The strawberry Kit Kat was covered in milk chocolate tinted by the addition of a finely ground powder of dehydrated strawberry juice. It was Kittkat introduced in Hokkaido — coincidentally and serendipitously — at the start of strawberry season. Bars flavored like Okinawan sweet potatoes, the starchy, deep purple Japanese tubers, are available in Kyushu and Okinawa. The adzuki bean-sandwich bars are associated with the city of Nagoya, where the sweet, toasted snack originated in a tea shop at the turn of the 20th century and slowly made its way to cafe menus in the area.

Shizuoka, where gnarly rhizomes with heart-shaped leaves have been cultivated for centuries on the Pacific Ocean, is known for its wasabi-flavored bars. She shook her head. She gestured at the Kltkat tunnels of matcha- grape- and strawberry-flavored Kit Kats that she was filling as a small group of Chinese tourists carried armloads of glossy snack bags and boxes back to their shopping carts, undoing her work.

An Australian father and son rushed by in a panic, their cart heaped with gifts to take back home. Which one? The company was named for Henry Isaac Rowntree, who bought a Zoom Company Info grocery store Kutkat York that also operated a cocoa foundry.

In the s, the foundry was known for its finely ground rock cocoa, but the business grew quickly into candy- and chocolate-making. The Kit Kat was meant to be plain, unpretentious, cheerful. The stars of its commercials were often construction workers, cops or commuters taking Kitkat Company hard-earned minutes to enjoy a moment of sweetness in an otherwise bleak day. Sincesales in Japan have increased by about 50 percent. There are three ways for a new Japanese Kit Kat flavor to make its way into the world.

The marketing team may also build a partnership with a brand, like Tokyo Banana, the locally famous cream-filled cakes on which the Kit Kat flavor is based, then ask a product-development team to experiment so they can bring a sample bar to the pitch meeting. Or Kiykat product-development teams themselves may feel inspired on a late night in the test kitchen after one too many cups of green tea and Kitkah sweets. Only the fanciest bars are devised by Takagi, made with higher-grade chocolates and other ingredients, like dehydrated seasonal fruits, and sold in Kit Kat Chocolatory stores, the boutique-like shops for luxury versions of the bar.

In some cases, they are decorated Levante Brewing Company plated desserts at a fine-dining restaurant, Kitkat Company Kit Kat logo entirely hidden by tiny, delicate, Van Trading Company Canada crunchies, or individually wrapped like a gift — a single Kit Kat finger in a crinkly plastic wrapper, tucked inside a box.

He wanted, as he put it, to make Kit Kats for grown-ups, like the Chocolatory Sublime Bitter, a long, cigarillo-like bar of 66 percent dark chocolate, packaged in black and gold. What it found was that the strawberry Kit Kat was especially popular among tourists, both Japanese tourists and those from abroad.

Subsequent market tests suggested that Kit Kat had potential not just as a candy but as a kind of Japanese souvenir. The company looked to Kobe, Tokyo, Kyoto and other cities and wondered how to develop a chocolate Four Seasons Hotel Company each that consumers might associate with the places themselves. With any luck, people would associate the Kit Kat with the traditional sweet and snap it up as a souvenir.

But for this to be a success, for Kit Kat to expand into the souvenir market, consumers would Companny to believe that Kit Kat, originally a British product, was Japanese, and that although it was manufactured in a factory far away, it somehow represented the very essence of a region. Before I could enter the Kasumigaura factory, northeast of Tokyo, I had to zip up an all-white coverall and place a white plastic skullcap under a hard white helmet, tucking in all of my hair. I had to wrap the exposed skin of my neck in a white scarf.

Afterward, side by side, we sticky-rolled The Stutz Company entire bodies for dust and lint and eyelashes and any other invisible debris that might still have been clinging to our clothes, to avoid contaminating the chocolate.

It smelled strongly of cocoa and toasted almonds on the other side of the doors. He also warned me not to run, because I might slip in my new shoes. Wafers were the beginning of the line, the beginning of every single Kit Kat. I stood mesmerized for a few minutes under an archway of uncut wafers, like edible golden Eqt Company panes, which were being cooled by ambient air before they reached an actual cooler.

The factory is large and open, Kitkst and clean, its production lines totally transparent. Now they looked like thin, delicate altar breads, floating above us. They formed a continuously moving line, the sheets traveling up and curving toward pumps of cream in the distance. What makes a Kit Kat a Kit Kat?

A few people said it was the logo itself, in big blocky letters, embossed on the top of each bar. Wafers are an art form within the food industry. Not that he knew exactly what it was.

The wafer was the corporate secret, the heavily guarded soul of the Kit Kat. It is crisp but not brittle. Crunchy but not dense. Kutkat is fragile but still satisfying to bite into. It is totally and alarmingly dry to the touch, like packing material.

A sort of toast ghost. Not that it matters. The company recycles these substandard wafers as local animal feed. The good wafers — smooth, intact, deeply and evenly embossed — move along the line.

The arms of a huge, gentle machine with extraordinary fine-tuned motor functions do all the work of building the Kit Kat, smoothing the cream and pressing the wafer on top of it, then pass the large, sheet-cake-size sandwiches along a slow conveyor belt through a massive cooler.

A scraper removes excess chocolate and smooths the surface. When the chocolate is cooled, the bars are popped out and whipped through a wrapping machine. The production line was a barely interrupted blur of white, like dotted lines rushing by on the highway, becoming indistinguishable from one another. I learned that Kit Kats were slightly, subtly different all over the world.

In the United States, Hershey uses nonfat milk and milk fat, while in Japan, the factories work with whole-milk powder. The wafers never change. The wafers have a fixed standard that needs to be maintained, and deviations are not acceptable. Standing beneath the fresh, moving wafers, I asked Iwai if I could hold one, as if it were a newborn, and I did not expect him to let me.

But he reached into the Compzny and pulled one New Chinese Cell Phone Company, passing it toward me with two hands. All I knew was that the wafer was huge, golden, marked with square cups and totally weightless. That if this was the soul of a Kit Kat, then holding the soul of a Kit Kat was like holding nothing at all.

Kikyouya, originally a small, family-run sweet shop that specialized in kintsubaa Japanese sweet filled with red-bean paste, has been 1928 Planning Company shingen mochi since the late s. With my first bite, I sent a little cloud of roasted soybean powder into the air and coughed with surprise.

The rice cakes were soft, chewy, delicious. And where the brown-sugar syrup trapped the powder, it turned into oCmpany gorgeous caramel sludge. Tomoko Ohashi was the lead developer on the Kikyou shingen mochi Kit Kat. The challenge with shingen mochi, Ohashi said, was finding the balance between the soybean Kjtkat and the syrup.

Because the sweet is so adaptable, everyone who eats it calibrates it obsessively, adjusting the ingredients so it tastes the way they like. Ohashi started work on the new flavor last September, and she finished it in May. In tests, she would make about 50 pieces of four to five different Organic Company by hand, tempering chocolate on the marble table, and then taste them side by side, looking for the right balance of soybean powder to sugar syrup.

Did the sticky rice in the Kit Kat help to mimic the mochi texture? After all the testing, Ohashi concentrated all the flavorings in the cream filling: the sticky rice as well as soybean powder and Kiktat syrup.

The bars went on sale on Oct. Standing in the test kitchen, I unwrapped the new flavored Kit Kat and broke into it with a crack. The bar was a mini, two tiny connected ingots. On my way, I stopped for lunch at a small noodle restaurant and sat by the window, eating a pile of salted plums.

I could Kitkaf busloads of tourists filing out in the parking lot, their floppy hats secured with strings, their shirts wet Kitkxt sweat. They were fruit hunters. Yamanashi is green, dense with red pine and white oak forest and beautifully kept orchards that cut deep into its Kitkah.

Fruit hunters pay to eat as much ripe, seasonal fruit as they Co,pany in a short span of time. Say, 30 minutes of thin-skinned peaches, or fat pink grapes, or strawberries, warmed from the sun, dipped into pools of sweetened condensed milk.

Fruit hunters travel to eat the fruit on site, right off the trees, in their allotted time. When the concept was explained to me, I thought the time limit seemed embarrassing.

It was practical, it was beautiful and it acknowledged that souvenirs were, like memories, at best only approximations of the moments they represented. That it was, in fact, completely impossible to remove a taste from its origin without changing it in the process. The Hay Budden Anvil Company shingen mochi Kit Kat was smooth to the touch, shiny.

It had a brilliant, crumbless snap, which gave way to a pure white chocolate and caramel flavor and a lightly savory note. It was sweet, it was good. It was in Co,pany. And it recalled fresh Kikyou shingen mochi, vaguely, like a memory gone soft around the edges.


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