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Doug vs. Japanese Snack Foods: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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diaryland: entry for 2001-04-12 (20:56:00)
In which our plucky young hero recognizes NEW, anyway.

My packet of Japanese snack foods arrived today from Kimu-San! For the purposes of posterity, I will divide my exploration of them into two phases. First, I present...

Phase One: The Packaging

Like snack foods of these domestic shores, the Japanese stuff I have been sent seems to come in two varieties: boxed and bagged. I will begin with the boxes.

First on our parade of snacks we have something which I presume is called Pretz Garlic, from Glico. I assume this because there are very few English words on the box, and they are: Open (on the pull tab), Glico (in cursive which reminds me of a logo), PRETZ GARLIC, and 2 Packs. Therefore, I will assume that this is Pretz Garlic, another fine product of Glico.

Pretz Garlic, from the name, would appear to be garlic-flavored pretzels. They are, in fact, pretzel sticks, or at least the sticklike things on the box look somewhat like pretzel sticks. I shall guess that inside this box, I will find two packages of garlic-flavored pretzel sticks.

Next is Pucca, from Meiji. This comes in a rather unique and refreshing box, with rounded sides, somewhat like the contours of a new car. The box promises it is NEW, though it does not specify (in English, anyway) if the product, the flavor, or the packaging is new. Emblazoned on the (bright yellow) box are pictures, presumably of Pucca, which look somewhat like very cheap chess pawns, fish, or amputee squid. One of the Pucca, shown in cross-section, contains a brown shiny filling, presumably chocolate. My guess is that the orange exterior is a slightly sweet cracker shell.

We continue with another Meiji product, Fran. This is a classy box, golden in color, with an attractive cursive logo actually embossed on the box. Pucca are obviously for the kids, but when Joe Sarariman returns from his 18-hour day at the Kyoto Office Work Concern, he settles down with some serious Fran.

But what is Fran that it brings almost as much joy as being a trusted employee of the zaibatsu? Well, from the diagram on the back of the box, it is some sort of dark red stick which is dipped in chocolate. (At least, dipped into a shiny brown liquid.) What is this red stick? I have no idea. I shall only say that I expect chocolate from my Fran.

And finally, the last box is Petit Mont-blanc from Morinaga. Actually, it is not petit mont-blanc; I think it has an actual brand name, and the flavor of this particular box is petit mont-blanc. The treats themselves look like some sort of cookie with a white filling, and a yellow icing of some sort (caramel, perhaps) poured on top in wavy lines. The back of the box clearly explains what is in the icing, the filling, and the actual cookie/cracker element, unless you are illiterate. Which, in Japanese, I am. I guess nothing; this product will be a true surprise.

Overall comments on the boxes: they are not at all flimsy, like the poor American boxes we have become accustomed to. Most have pull tabs and the one that does not, the Petit Mont-blanc, has a nicely perforated front so that you can remove it and eat that way. I envy the Japanese their high-quality boxes.

Tomorrow: the bags.

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