steepholm: (Default)
I've been using a scanner to get the pictures in these tasting notes, but today's snack didn't come out too well, not being flat enough. (It was definitely one to be counted by the -hon rather than the -mai...)

ramune0002

Sorry about that - but you can find better pictures here. Anyway, this packet of sweets is called Ramune, after the well-known Japanese fizzy drink. The drink tastes a bit like lemonade, which isn't surprising, because that's what it was based on when it was invented in the nineteenth century, as it happens by a Scot who was living in Kobe at the time. It's famous for having a glass marble inside the bottle to act as a stopper - a feature once common in fizzy drinks (and, as it happens, invented by an Englishman), but now a novelty. This sweet bottle's shape copies that of the iconic drink.

The sweets are quite (though not completely) round, and have the slightly chalky texture of Love Hearts, but rather softer. They're not fizzy, but they do taste of lemon, and are surprisingly moreish. Of course, I was only going to have one or two, but I ate them at a sitting.

I don't feel guilty.
steepholm: (tree_face)
I've been using a scanner to get the pictures in these tasting notes, but today's snack didn't come out too well, not being flat enough. (It was definitely one to be counted by the -hon rather than the -mai...)

ramune0002

Sorry about that - but you can find better pictures here. Anyway, this packet of sweets is called Ramune, after the well-known Japanese fizzy drink. The drink tastes a bit like lemonade, which isn't surprising, because that's what it was based on when it was invented in the nineteenth century, as it happens by a Scot who was living in Kobe at the time. It's famous for having a glass marble inside the bottle to act as a stopper - a feature once common in fizzy drinks (and, as it happens, invented by an Englishman), but now a novelty. This sweet bottle's shape copies that of the iconic drink.

The sweets are quite (though not completely) round, and have the slightly chalky texture of Love Hearts, but rather softer. They're not fizzy, but they do taste of lemon, and are surprisingly moreish. Of course, I was only going to have one or two, but I ate them at a sitting.

I don't feel guilty.
steepholm: (tree_face)
Hidden between the larger okashi in my goody box were a number of chewy sweets, with different fruit flavours. I think the packets will give you a good idea of what the flavours were:

haichu0005

(Sorry, I put the grape in upside-down.)

The intriguing thing here is that the flavours are written in English transliterated into katakana, rather than in Japanese. There's a perfectly good Japanese word for 'strawberry', for example, namely 'ichigo'; but here it's been spelt ストロベリー (sutoroberii). The same is true of the grape and green apple flavours. Well, a lot of English words do make it into Japanese by this route, I suppose. English is cool, for some reason.

Where it gets interesting is with the pear flavour, which is named, not ペアー (which is what 'pear' would look like transliterated into katakana), nor yet 梨 (nashi), which is the actual Japanese for 'pear', but ラ。フランス, which spells out 'La France'.

I had to look this up, but it turns out that 'La France' is the name of the most famous pear variety in Japan, and is grown mostly in Yamagata Prefecture. It is indeed French in origin - but of course, in France itself it's called something quite different (Claude Blanchet), as is often the way.
steepholm: (Default)
Hidden between the larger okashi in my goody box were a number of chewy sweets, with different fruit flavours. I think the packets will give you a good idea of what the flavours were:

haichu0005

(Sorry, I put the grape in upside-down.)

The intriguing thing here is that the flavours are written in English transliterated into katakana, rather than in Japanese. There's a perfectly good Japanese word for 'strawberry', for example, namely 'ichigo'; but here it's been spelt ストロベリー (sutoroberii). The same is true of the grape and green apple flavours. Well, a lot of English words do make it into Japanese by this route, I suppose. English is cool, for some reason.

Where it gets interesting is with the pear flavour, which is named, not ペアー (which is what 'pear' would look like transliterated into katakana), nor yet 梨 (nashi), which is the actual Japanese for 'pear', but ラ。フランス, which spells out 'La France'.

I had to look this up, but it turns out that 'La France' is the name of the most famous pear variety in Japan, and is grown mostly in Yamagata Prefecture. It is indeed French in origin - but of course, in France itself it's called something quite different (Claude Blanchet), as is often the way.
steepholm: (tree_face)
Just one snack today. I'd been intrigued by this packet from the beginning, because I couldn't work out what kind of thing was in it. It felt like a folded cloth - but my best guess was that there was a sachet of powder inside, perhaps for mixing into water.

blackcurrant0001blackcurrant0002

If I'd bothered to translate the label before opening it (but that would have been boring) I would have known that it contained 不思議食感わた菓子 (mouth wonder candy floss), and if I'd paid heed to "わたパチ" (crackling cotton) in big characters on the front, I might have been prepared for the subsequent fireworks. But probably I wouldn't have believed it anyway. Only ever having eaten candy floss prepared on the spot in fairgrounds, I didn't know it could be folded like a bright pink fan and foil-wrapped for freshness with an eat-by date of September next year, let alone combined with popping candy. Even the sight of a cannibalistic blackcurrant did nothing to prepare me, though no doubt it should have.

I would love to show you the candy floss itself, but I'm afraid I ate the evidence. Delicious, delicious evidence...
steepholm: (Default)
Just one snack today. I'd been intrigued by this packet from the beginning, because I couldn't work out what kind of thing was in it. It felt like a folded cloth - but my best guess was that there was a sachet of powder inside, perhaps for mixing into water.

blackcurrant0001blackcurrant0002

If I'd bothered to translate the label before opening it (but that would have been boring) I would have known that it contained 不思議食感わた菓子 (mouth wonder candy floss), and if I'd paid heed to "わたパチ" (crackling cotton) in big characters on the front, I might have been prepared for the subsequent fireworks. But probably I wouldn't have believed it anyway. Only ever having eaten candy floss prepared on the spot in fairgrounds, I didn't know it could be folded like a bright pink fan and foil-wrapped for freshness with an eat-by date of September next year, let alone combined with popping candy. Even the sight of a cannibalistic blackcurrant did nothing to prepare me, though no doubt it should have.

I would love to show you the candy floss itself, but I'm afraid I ate the evidence. Delicious, delicious evidence...
steepholm: (tree_face)
A few days at my mother's making do with Christmas dinner, pudding, chocolate and alcohol meant that I was forced to abstain from okashi, but now I've leapt off the wagon. So, let us explore another province of this interesting world....

Sparrow Eggs )
Konbu )
steepholm: (Default)
A few days at my mother's making do with Christmas dinner, pudding, chocolate and alcohol meant that I was forced to abstain from okashi, but now I've leapt off the wagon. So, let us explore another province of this interesting world....

Sparrow Eggs )
Konbu )
steepholm: (tree_face)
In case you're still fretting about the rabbit and its submerged companion from the prawn cracker packet in my previous post, my friend Chiho has explained that it's actually a reference to a traditional story, one version of which you can enjoy here:



Short version: the crafty rabbit (who is a goodie, despite the demonic red eyes) gets the better of a bullying badger.

And so, on to today's toothsome titbits...

Gabriele [?] Chew )

Wasabi Pretzels )
steepholm: (Default)
In case you're still fretting about the rabbit and its submerged companion from the prawn cracker packet in my previous post, my friend Chiho has explained that it's actually a reference to a traditional story, one version of which you can enjoy here:



Short version: the crafty rabbit (who is a goodie, despite the demonic red eyes) gets the better of a bullying badger.

And so, on to today's toothsome titbits...

Gabriele [?] Chew )

Wasabi Pretzels )
steepholm: (tree_face)
My okashi-tasting pilgrimage took a slight hiatus while I visited my mother overnight, but I'm now firmly back in saddle and ready to journey from the Plain of Amai into the Uplands of Karai.

Nuts and Wasabi Rice Crackers )

Prawn Wafers )
steepholm: (Default)
My okashi-tasting pilgrimage took a slight hiatus while I visited my mother overnight, but I'm now firmly back in saddle and ready to journey from the Plain of Amai into the Uplands of Karai.

Nuts and Wasabi Rice Crackers )

Prawn Wafers )
steepholm: (tree_face)
I'm eating all these snacks as a public service, you understand...

The next two are actually pretty similar:

Potato Fry and Sapporo Potato (Barbecue Flavour) )
steepholm: (Default)
I'm eating all these snacks as a public service, you understand...

The next two are actually pretty similar:

Potato Fry and Sapporo Potato (Barbecue Flavour) )

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