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Matcha Kit Kat

Who doesn’t love a Kit Kat bar, with its crunchy “fingers” that consist of three layers of wafer cookies covered in chocolate?

But did you know just how many variations there are around the world?

Sure, we can’t resist the basic milk chocolate Kit Kat found in stores everywhere in the United States. But folks in Canada can indulge in peanut butter ones, while hazelnut cream ones are sold in Germany, strawberry ones in Australia and tiramisu in the United Kingdom.

Japan, though, is where you’ll probably find the greatest array of specialty Kit Kat flavors, including azuki (red bean), pickled plum, wasabi and soy sauce, according to Wikipedia.

Last week, I snagged a bag of matcha Kit Kat bars at Nijiya market in San Jose’s Japantown. Yes, green tea-flavored ones.

These mini, Halloween-sized ones are a product of Japan. You get 13 mini ones to a $6.49 bag. Definitely not cheap.

Each individually wrapped bar can be separated into two fingers. Two bars have a total of 138 calories. With green tea paste and green tea cocoa powder in the ingredients list, the taste is that of mild, milky, quite sweet green tea.

I don’t know if they beat the standard milk chocolate ones, but they’re definitely a fun change of pace from the norm.

Launched in 1935 as Chocolate Crisp in York, England, the confection was supposedly named after the KitKat Club, an 18th Century Whig literacy club. “As the building had very low ceilings, it could accommodate only paintings that were wide but not too high. In the art world, such paintings became known as ‘kitkats.’ It is therefore conceivable that the humble Kit Kat derived its name from paintings that had to be snapped off to fit into low-ceiling rooms,” according to the Kit Kat Web site.

Just how popular has the candy remained?

According to the Web site, every five minutes, enough Kit Kats are produced to out stack the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Now, if only some of those other flavors would make it to our shores.

More Treats: Tim Tams from Australia

And: Dragon Beard Candy from Hong Kong

And: Goat Milk Caramels

And: Lard Caramels

And: Piggy Pops