Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Elite Japanese Cuisine

Oh! Did I say 'Elite Japanese Cuisine'? I meant stuff I found in convenience stores and vending machines! I... suppose there is a difference?

This first one isn't all that interesting. I think it's a Family Mart exclusive Sapporo soft drink, but I mostly took a picture because it's melon... cola? That and I never get tired of drinking curiously-hued beverages. In Japan of course, green melon soda is commonplace, but melon cola? To be frank I couldn't really tell the difference. It was good though!

McVitie's Sweet Mint Digestive Biscuits! Aw, now you're talking! These are one of those products that, although it's a Western company, I doubt you'll find these available in the West. That happens a lot (see for example whole blogs dedicated to the baffling array of Kit-Kat flavours they have here) and not just with food, but with clothing brands and other things too. Eastern and Western tastes vary, y'know.

But in this case, my tastes don't vary that much at all. I adore chocolate and mint flavoured stuff, but when I first came to Japan I never saw anything around, and when I told people I liked that taste they looked at me funny. Well, y'know, funnier than usual. But in the few years I've been here chocolate-mint flavoured items have been popping up more and more, and this summer was a veritable choco-minty feast for me, with all sorts of limited edition snacks and ice-creams on offer. I mean, when I saw this latest one I almost thought they'd designed it just for me. Until I turned over the packet...

I mean, she doesn't look like me at all. Oh well. Also, I'm pretty sure that the Japanese companies are treating choc-mint flavour as a summer thing, so now it's cooling down I won't find it anywhere, but it was good while it lasted.

Next up, vending machine awesomeness:

Walking through Sapporo Station I saw a DyDo vending machine selling pancake drink. I mean, pancake-flavoured milk drink, but... I mean that is either going to turn your stomach or turn your head. I think you can guess which it did for me:

Mmmmm, look at that melting butter. And there's definitely a hint of butter in the taste too, but it really wasn't too gross at all. From what's written on the can, it actually looks like this is more of a retro, nostalgia exercise than a bold new experiment in flavour. This pancake milkshake mix used to be available from the chocolate company Morinaga as a Nesquik-style stir-in powder. You'd add it to milk and - voila - drinkable pancakes. Morinaga are collaborating with DyDo on this... perhaps to get it back out there? Anyway it was pretty nice, probably too sweet for most people but I didn't have a problem with it. And yes, it did taste like pancakes. And in the end, isn't that what's important?

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