Custom KitKat shop opens in Japan

(CNN) — These days, you can customize your car, your house and your clothes. So why not your favorite sweet?

Just when we thought KitKat mania couldn’t go any farther, Nestle opened a made-to-order chocolate shop this October at Namba Station, in the Chuo ward of Osaka, on Japan‘s Honshu island.
The premium KitKat Chocolatory isn’t just any chocolate shop that you would travel to see.

Inside, you can build the KitKat of your dreams and watch it harden before your eyes thanks to a blast of liquid nitrogen.

Place your order

Osaka custom KitKats

A row of personalized KitKats.

Courtesy Nestle Japan

Like a Willy Wonka Factory for KitKats, guests can use a touchscreen pad to make their dream candy, choosing from five types of chocolate for the base.

The chocolate options include basics such as milk chocolate alongside wild card flavors such as matcha or a strawberry-flavored white chocolate.

The nine toppings are marshmallow, pineapple, cranberry, mango, green raisin, almond, cashew, macadamia and shredded coconut. Each bar will set you back about US$6-9.

Can’t decide? Try the chef’s selection, where the chocolatier suggests the perfect toppings to pair with your base chocolate of choice — just like a wine pairing at a posh restaurant.

New York City has dozens of ice cream shops that are offering all kinds of crazy cold treats, from elastic ice cream to flash frozen sundaes.

For example, If you love matcha chocolate the chef might recommend marshmallow, cranberry and coconut as toppings.

There’s even an ultra-luxe “all topping” version where you can try all nine garnishes on offer. That’s the priciest possible menu item at ¥2,050 ($18).

You’re invited to “Have a Break’ and enjoy your KitKat in the store, but you can also pack them up as souvenirs.

Liquid nitrogen certainly looks dramatic, but it has also become increasingly popular around the world as a way to “flash-freeze” ice cream on the spot — and make cool Instagram videos at the same time.

More than 300 flavors

Osaka custom KitKats

If Willy Wonka went to a train station, this is what might happen.

Courtesy Nestle Japan

Originally introduced in 1935, KitKats are essentially chocolate-covered wafers.

Though first launched in London by Rowntree’s confectionery, they’re now produced by Nestle, a Swiss company, in the UK and HB Reese Candy Company in the US.

In the US, one of KitKat’s most successful jingles was “Give Me a Break,” with the sound of the two pieces of the bar breaking down the center to make it easier to eat.

These sweet treats made their way Japan in 2000, where the market ushered in quirky new variants.

There are now more than 300 varieties, including cheesecake, wasabi, green tea, sushi, and yuzu. The brand also collaborated with Sanrio on a special Hello Kitty KitKat collection in 2006.
And Nestle intends to keep adding to its flavor roster: An all-natural pink KitKat made from “ruby” cocoa beans was released in 2018.

One reason behind the candy’s eternal popularity in Japan is that in the Japanese language “KitKat” sounds similar to “kito kato,” which means “to surely win.”

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