Did you know that FamilyMart sells 108 yen (US$0.90) packets of “roasted shellfish strings?” They’re made from Hokkaido-raised scallops, and just like clams and oysters, scallops can produce pearls underwater. Even the packages come with this warning: “please be careful not to swallow any pearls that the shellfish may have produced while you eat them.”

Well that’s a challenge if we ever heard one! We bought 21 packets of roasted shellfish strings and went on a pearl diving adventure. Did we end up finding one? Read on to find out!

We couldn’t believe it when we heard it. Pearls? In little 90-cent packages? We’ll take 21 please!

▼ Can you believe the cashier gave us a funny look when we told her we were going pearl-hunting? Some people….


▼ We immediately went to work cracking packs. It was just like opening up Pokémon cards with friends as kids, each hoping to find the holographic Charizard first.


▼ And of course none of the food went to waste. Accidentally biting into a pearl is the most efficient way to find them anyway.


▼ “Guys! This one is kind of curly!”
“Yeah, so?”
“…I thought we were looking for curls.”


▼ The look of wondering how your life got to this point.


▼ “If I find the pearl, I’m keeping it for myself.”
“What, don’t do that!”
“I can’t help it. I’m shellfish.”


▼ “Hey guys, am I the only one feeling a little… clammy here? Eh? Eh?”
“…these puns have got to stop.”
“Oh don’t act so crabby.”


▼ 10 minutes into the pun-laden hunt:
“Hey I think I found something-“


▼ “Oh crap I dropped it!”


▼ After an exhaustive 20-minute search, we finally re-found the pearl.


▼ It’s right there. No, it’s not a piece of trash, it’s a pearl.

▼ See? Oh, it’s just a little bit dirty. Let’s clean it up then you’ll see.




Ahhh! So fancy.


▼ And a zoom-in shot. It might be incredibly small, and it might have a bit of a tumor going on, but it’s our pearl and we love it just the same.


After finding a pearl after just about 10 minutes of searching (plus 20 more minutes after it dropped), we eagerly opened up more packs hoping to find a bunch more. And… we didn’t find a single other one.

Oh well. That just means the pearls must be hiding in other packs at the store. Next time we’ll buy 100 of them! Then we’ll be sure to find another. Or we’ll just pull a mussel from opening all these packs.

Photos © RocketNews24
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