When I started this series on the blog, asking friends to bring me back treats from either their home country or places they were visiting, I was genuinely looking forward to it being a more-or-less delicious affair. It would be eating treats after all! Enter Japan as a game changer, just to make it a tad more adventurous than that culinary escapade I had in mind.
I learnt that a friend was going to Japan and so I read out the standard “ask for five treats” script that I have prepared and locked down. Her response was “Good grief! Well – I can but I don’t know how treat-like they would be.” I shrugged off the negative attitude and told her to just get me the darn treats!
When they arrived, I saw that she was right. One glance in and this was one shopping bag I actually put off opening for a while. Here’s why:
Imagine this. A kid with pig tails and cool shoes that light up, walks into a grocery store. She takes her piggy-bank savings (which she’s saved for her weekly treat) out of her pocket and in a squeaky voice, asks the guy behind the counter… for a bag of dried grilled shishamo (which is a saltwater fish). It just doesn’t sound like a good story! This will truly go down as one of the things I never want to eat again. And to all the people out there who love this stuff – I’m sorry. I tried. It was just too fishy, and bony, and salty for me!
Well this a great story! Given I can’t read Japanese, I looked at the bag and assumed this was bacon jerky. I LOVE bacon. Like seriously. No matter how many times people tell me about how bad it is for you, I can’t not love it. I was so excited about this but turns out, it wasn’t bacon! THIS, ladies and gentlemen is dried squid. And it tasted nothing like bacon. In fact, I never want to eat any of this ever again. And I realise that many people in Japan will disagree with me. Apparently, it’s a real snack and older Japanese people love this stuff and can spend hours chewing on it! Bleh.
Shredded Gummy (green grape flavour)
This one was probably the best of the lot but still isn’t something I would ask anyone to bring back for me. Mainly because of the texture – while the taste was like any other green grape flavoured candy with a lot of sugar, the texture was like that of a very thinly cut, wobbly eraser. So all in all, I wasn’t drawn to it. The guy sitting next to me a work however ate the whole bag in a span of 15 mins so this one might have to be the winner – IF I had to pick one. Also, each candy came individually wrapped with a few illustrations that while I couldn’t read, looked pretty fun.
Green tea Kit Kat
We’ve spoken about these before. Nothings changed. I still don’t like it. A lot of people do but I just don’t think green tea and Kit Kat needs to be together.
I was excited about this one. I mean FINALLY, we’re at truffles. Something I consider a treat. However, it just didn’t work for me. And maybe I don’t like matcha as much as I think I do? The chocolate was also quite rich, making it difficult to eat more than a couple of bites.
So all in all, not my favourite of the lot that I have tried since I started this mini-series. I will not be going to Japan for treats in the near future. Have you tried any of the above or any other Japanese treat for that matter?