Having married a Japanese native, I’m often in Asian markets like Daido and Kam Sen in White Plains and Hmart in Hartsdale staring at jars of tentacles, kimchi in gallon jugs, plastic bags of chicken feet, and snack aisles where the predominant ingredient is seaweed.
Not all of what is displayed in these markets is exotic of course, there’s Pepsi, Barilla pasta, Haagen-Daaz and popular snacks like Kit-Kats and Oreos…
Well Oreos, that is, in flavors such as chestnut (Japanese desserts commonly feature kuri, or chestnuts), strawberry, and macadamia nut, plus Kit Kats in green tea and cheesecake. Global markets often demand alternate flavor varieties (there’s chocolate and peanut Oreos in Indonesia and banana and dulce de leche Oreos in Argentina), as tastes vary country to country. Some Americans may get defensive at their favorite childhood snacks being altered, but here at the magazine we like to think of ourselves as more open-minded. (Though there is a double-fruit raspberry and blueberry Oreo sold in China—now come on, that’s just gross!)
In the interest of being open to new food experiences, we conducted an informal taste test of three “international” Oreo flavors and two Kit Kat flavors and rated them from 1 (Yuck) to 5 (As Good as the Original!).
Macadamia Nut Oreo Score: 4/5
Multiple reviewers said it tasted like cookies and cream and any macadamia nut flavor was barely perceptible. However, a “good crunch” and “nice richness” had it as the hands-down favorite of the bunch.
Green Tea Kit Kat Score: 2.6/5
It was love it or hate it for this flavor, as most reviewers had strong opinions on green flavored sweets and scores went to the extremes. Supporters liked that the texture was the “most like the original Kit Kat” and enjoyed the “genuine tea flavor,” while detractors detected “a powdery aftertaste” and thought upon opening the wrapper: “not the color you want to see.”
Cheesecake Kit Kat Score: 2.3/5
A “lemony,” “white chocolate flavor” had some tasters enjoying it well enough while others claimed it “did not taste like cheesecake” and instead “artificial.”
Chestnut Oreo Score: 2/5
The “soft exterior” “not like an original Oreo” displeased numerous tasters plus the cookie was “dry” “in need of more cream.”
Strawberry Oreo Score: 1.6/5
Comments such as “tastes like a fruit rollup,” “displeasingly artificial” and a “bad odor” sunk the strawberry flavor to last place.