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But wait, there's more.

There's just no polite way to say "Buy me things", is there?

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I'm baded and jitter. So are these people. (And why not follow the previous, next, or random links?)

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

rant is where the heart is

diaryland: entry for 2001-04-13 (20:47:00)
In which our plucky young hero names them by color.

Packaging, Continued.

In a previous installment, we covered the Japanese snack food boxes that were sent my way by the ever-educational Kimu-san. It is now time to focus on the transparent plastic bags which contain food.

This is, to be honest, much more difficult than the box entry, for two reasons. First, a bag is a bag is a bag, and there is nothing that really distinguishes Japanese snack food bags from American, except the one thing that does. This eliminates a chance to comment on the construction of the bags (with one exception, see below). Oh, and the other thing? It's called the Japanese language, which I do not read one word of.

To illustrate the quandary I'm in, I will now transcribe all the English on one of the five different snack items Kim has sent me.


Done. Others have even less than that.

This item, by the way, looks like some sort of snack twig. Those who are familiar with Hickory Sticks will know what I'm talking about. The Aji Curry sticks have a spiral twist to them. In what seems to be a Japanese snack food custom, there is a cartoon samurai on the front of the bag. He looks somewhat like Ernie.

What are these things? Uh, they're curry. They're also incredibly small, probably not even 50 grams. This had better be some good whatever it is.

Moving up in size, we'll look at what I will call Four Samurai Food. This one is actually very interesting. It consists of a hook suitable for one of those supermarket metal rods, and four different bags of something. (The bag is not transparent, so I don't know what they are.) On each bag is a different color scheme and a different cartoony samurai character. From the top, we have:

I think that the Four Samurai might be hints as to what each bag contains. If so, then I can only judge that Red Samurai's bag will contain chicken, Blue Samurai's bag some sort of seafood, Green Samurai's bag shredded newspaper and Yellow Samurai's bag some treat made of human (not Pocari) sweat.

Mmm, mmm, good.

Next, we have...

...okay, I have no idea what we have. But if this were an American snack food, built on American principles, so that the thing looks like other American snack foods that we already know and love, I would know in the deepest chambers of my heart that this is a bag of Twinkie Cookies. These fifteen cookies look exactly like Twinkies with almonds pressed into their dough.

Each of the Twinkie Cookies is individually wrapped.

Next, we have a snack pack of some sort. Within this bag are several different varieties of what look like individually-wrapped shortbread cookies. There are thin round pink wafers, thin round yellow wafers with some sort of brown thing embedded, and thin round smaller yellow wafers with a large brown square embedded. There is no comedy to be found here; I move on.

And what a treasure it is I now consider! Where to begin, where to begin... I shall begin with the bag. On the bag is a picture of an old man who loves his sushi, preparing it for you to enjoy. His spectacles (and, in fact, his overall appearance) remind me of Benjamin Franklin, if instead of living in America to discover lightning and early bedtimes he had lived in Osaka as a sushi chef.

Why is there a sushi chef on the bag? Because of the contents, of course. There are three different items in this bag. I shall begin with the one that, though I speak no Japanese, I know exactly what its name must be:

Sushi Junior.

That's right, there are (once again, individually wrapped) sushi-shaped cookies inside this bag! They are very representative of the most beloved varieties of sushi, which are as follows:

I don't eat a lot of sushi.

Next to the Sushi Junior are De Licious. Or Delicious. I am not sure which. The bag contains something that looks like mutant cereal puffs and dried peas. But it is a lovely bag, in, it promises, Lovely Size. This is the most charming piece of English that could ever be written; I shall burn my Hemingway to make room for this bag on my shelf. (I am actually quite sincere about this.)

There's also some roasted nuts. They look kind of like really, really big peanuts.

Also inside the bag is a dessicant (drying) agent, in a bag which indeed says Desiccant. It bears a logo which says NSKK, and when I think "NSKK" I think "dry snacks". For your information, I shall transcribe the English instructions on its bag.

I hope they work that last instruction into the ad campaign for the food. It could appeal to risk-takers, much like Mountain Dew, but with the added element of real danger. Benjamin Franklin could look into the camera and sneer, "When you eat Sushi Junior, your house could burn down. Are you man enough for me?"

And then, because his shoes are made of leather, Red Samurai would cut his head off.

Just send me my Clio now. I'll sign for it at the door.

Next: tasting and judgment!

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