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Review: The Nestlé Kit Kat (UK)

It’s time for a showdown. Revolutionary War style.

This past week, I spent some time at Tysons Corner Center, the largest shopping mall in the state of Virginia. Just as I was beginning to feel woozy from the toxic fumes emanating from the nearby Abercrombie, a Nestlé Kit Kat from the United Kingdom called out to me from inside Candy Heaven. (Unfortunately, the store attendants weren’t wearing angel wings. Hey, if you’re going to name your store Candy Heaven, you have to go all out.)

In case you’re unaware, the United States is the only country featuring Kit Kats manufactured by The Hershey Company. Everywhere else, you’ll find Kit Kats produced by Nestlé.

I’ve been told in the past that the Nestlé Kit Kat tastes noticeably superior to the Hershey version. This did not surprise me, as I find Hershey chocolate to taste cheap and mediocre. (The Hershey Bar just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.) Supposedly, the Nestlé chocolate used in their Kit Kats has a much more refined taste.

Despite my general dislike of Hershey chocolate, the Hershey Kit Kat has always been one of my favorite candies. Nothing gets me going in the morning like a chocolate covered wafer. (Except coffee. Coffee gets me going, too.) Therefore, I found myself wondering: just how much could a Kit Kat be improved with the addition of high quality chocolate? It was time to find out. I purchased two Kit Kats (oné Nestlé and one Hershey) and raced home from the mall to commence my taste test.

In addition to their differing wrappers, the actual Kit Kat bars contrast in physical appearance. The Nestlé Kit Kat appears slightly darker than the Hershey version and features an imprint of the international logo. The underlying wafers could be seen through the backside of the Hershey Kit Kat, while a dense layer of chocolate prevented any visibility of wafers in the Nestlé version. However, this discrepancy may be related to slight melting caused by the intense summer heat! (I am well aware that this melting appears visible in the accompanying photos.)

I first took a bite of the Hershey Kit Kat, hoping to gain a baseline for my comparison. Soon, I was munching on the Nestlé version.

I expected any taste difference to be subtle…but wow. I was terribly wrong.

The contrast really becomes apparent after significant chewing of the Kit Kats, providing adequate time for the chocolate to melt onto the tongue. The chocolate of the Nestlé Kit Kat has a certain depth to it, making the Hershey version taste rather shallow. The Nestlé chocolate actually tastes like chocolate should, with an undeniable richness that crescendos on the taste buds. It possesses a more intricate complexity of flavor which the Hershey chocolate cannot rival. It’s not that the Nestlé chocolate seems more sweet, but that the Hershey chocolate seems one-dimensional and dull in comparison.

Like many, I’ve grown up consuming an inferior version of the chocolate covered wafer treat, blissfully ignorant that the Kit Kats across the pond were promoting a higher standard for chocolate excellence. After experiencing the revelation brought about by this Nestlé Kit Kat, it is with a heavy heart that I conclude: the Hershey Kit Kat will never again truly satisfy my taste buds. The Nestlé version is so noticeably superior to its Hershey counterpart; it is truly something that must be experienced by every American Kit Kat connoisseur.

Great Britain, you’ve put our American Kit Kat to shame. At least I can rest easy knowing that our bacon is better than yours.