The “Tokyo Island Lemon” KitKat, which employs lemons cultivated in Ogasawara Town in the World Heritage-listed Ogasawara Island chain of Tokyo, was recently added by Nestlé to its lineup in Japan.
Many people were shocked to hear that Tokyo was the origin of island lemons, but it isn’t the only unexpected crop grown in Ogasawara. It turns out that the island also produces its cacao, which is currently utilized to make a brand-new KitKat that is appropriately called Tokyo Cacao.
Cocoa trees generally prefer the climates of places that reside 20 degrees left and right of the equator so its quite surprising to hear that there is a flourishing market of cocoa trees and chocolate from Ogasawara which lies a lot father than the equator, 36 degrees to be exact.
Hiratsuka Confectionery Company has been cultivating cocoa in Ogasawara to provide a safe and transparent supply chain. From cultivating, harvesting, and fermenting the crop to preparing the soil, they have been in charge of everything.
According to the press release, Tokyo cocoa has a powerful, fruity aroma and a mellow flavor that allow you to perceive “the richness and depth of flavor of the cacao itself.” This new KitKat release is certain to generate attention among chocolate enthusiasts worldwide because it is rare to come across any chocolate made from locally grown cocoa in Japan.
Tokyo Cacao will cost 756 yen ($5.05) for a cacao bean-shaped container with four chocolates inside and 1,296 yen for an eight-piece gift box. Starting on November 9, the chocolates will be available for purchase in souvenir shops throughout the Tokyo area, the Tokyo Gift Palette shop at Tokyo Station, and the Haneda and Narita airports.