An Upscale Improvement on Kit Kats

Q.bel Chocolate Wafer Bars

Q.bel Chocolate Wafer Bars

I Paid: 99 cents for a 1.1-ounce package containing two bars (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 5 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

Kit Kats are some of the best candy bars in the universe. Crunchy, light, chocolaty, textured, and sweet—commonplace, yes, but they're frickin' delicious. Try and watch a Kit Kat commercial and then not want to eat a Kit Kat. Immediately.

Can they be improved upon, however? Yes. After driving around Lake Superior this fall, I made two interesting discoveries to this end.

The first is that Canadian Kit Kats are just plain better: A coating of darker, better-quality-tasting chocolate kicks them up to a whole new stratosphere.

The second is that there's a new American product called Q.bel Chocolate Wafer Bars—found at co-ops and Whole Foods–like upscale groceries—that are even better than Kit Kats.

They're covered in Belgian chocolate, which gives them a depth and sophistication that mass-market candy bars in the U.S. can only dream of. (Granted, sometimes depth and sophistication take a back seat to the brutal gut impact of commercial candy, but let's look at this from a gourmet perspective for a moment.) Q.bel bars are crispy and airy to a degree that Kit Kats aren't; a few of the flavors even contain an extra-impact layer of crunch in the form of crisped rice. The Dark Chocolate variety is particularly good, with an almost fruity note. The Peanut Butter was a little more problematic, as the peanut flavor tasted almost unhulled in its hard-core nuttiness, but if you're looking for peanut kick, here's your candy bar.

In short: Q.bel steps up a great concept to a higher level, and there's always room for that.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.