Sunday, May 03, 2009

Strange Flavors

Tonight I went with friends Zishan and Mitsuo to eat Indian food. We had a lively discussion in the car about food flavors that we like or dislike. Mitsuo thinks that root beer tastes like medicine and he hates it. This is an opinion I've heard several times in Japan, and the drink is nowhere to be seen in stores. He also said that mint ice cream reminds him of toothpaste. I love both of those things, so I thought it was amusing. My big complaint with Japanese sweets is that the vast majority are made of beans, rice, and/or tea. They are good, don't get me wrong, but I feel like there are only so many combinations of flavor that can be achieved with such a limited range of ingredients.

Foods deemed to be "foreign", then, are on the opposite side of the scale. They indulge in flavor experimentation that borders on madness. I gathered a few photos of interesting foods, and you can decide if they are a good idea.

Custard pudding flavored KitKat. These aren't bad.

Even the chocolate is yellow.

I was given this at school. It's a white grape flavored yogurt drink. Not bad, but I didn't ask for another.

Peking Duck flavored potato chips. These are surprisingly good. Kind of tangy.

At Mos Burger, kind of a Japanese McDonald's, they offer burgers with rice paddies for a bun. This one in particular was delicious.

Cheetos that taste like shumai, a Chinese pork dumpling. These taste really bad. I think they taste a lot like the real thing, but the marriage is not meant to be. I can't say I've had a bag of Cheetos over here that I enjoyed. For some reason they don't sell the usual cheese flavored kind anywhere that I know about.

We had a barbeque yesterday, and my Hawaiian pal Ray made these sushi rolls with SPAM inside. They were good. I had seconds. This might be the first time I've ever eaten the stuff, but apparently it is a really big deal in Hawaii.


  1. haha Well, let me tell you that I think the same thing about Root beer, It is bad!, it tastes like toothpaste.
    And what about the Kitkat's green tea flavored and the soy sauce flavor! For some reason my parents here in Colombia really liked the soy sauce flavor. Personally,I would stay with the pudding flavor.

  2. holy moly!! shumai cheetos?! what will they think of next...

  3. Anonymous10:38 AM

    What would the Japanese think of a root beer float then?

  4. I don't know if you like your Cheetos crunchy or puffy, but I found a decent puffy Cheetos substitute while I was in Kyoto. They're called Kaaru or Kaarusu (Curls, hah), I think, and come in a couple different flavors, including cheese. You should be able to find them at a conbini or big kusuriya.

  5. yay! they are good in making electronics but I think no so good in chocolates or in other food stuff. but somehow I have tasted some of their specialties and I think its great!

  6. Angelica: Yeah I haven't actually eaten any of the soy sauce KitKat yet. I thought they would be pretty good presents.

    Anonymous: Well, they might think it tastes a bit like pouring medicine and or toothpaste all over ice cream. hehe. I have had a melon soda float or two, so they definitely have those.

    Jessi: Yeah I will have to look for them. The Cheetos here don't have the cheese powder on them, which sorta kills the deliciousness. Fools!!

  7. Even the chocolate is yellow in color. It might taste good. Somehow, things in Japan have to be different from other countries just to give people or travelers impression that they are outstanding and unforgettable.

  8. I also had the unfortunate experience of trying the shumai Cheetos. I wish I had had a beer at the time.