How does Mr. Sato like the taste of Inca Kola?

It’s been a while since our Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato was last able to travel, so he’s been hankering for a taste of the international. Luckily, he lives in Tokyo, which is a mecca for cuisines and groceries from all over the world!

In fact, Mr. Sato recently learned about a South American supermarket known as Kyodai Market, which specializes in Brazilian fare but also sells food items from Peru and other South American countries, so he was keen to check it out. Located only a short distance from the East Exit of Gotanda Station on the central Yamanote Line, it should have been easy to find, but when Mr. Sato went looking for it he soon learned that it’s not visible to passersby but rather on the sixth floor of a fancy-looking office building. He wondered why an international grocer would be hidden away in such a place until he realized that the building also houses the office of the Brazilian Consulate-General, since it’s not unusual for embassies to be housed in conjunction with shops that serve their international needs.

Curiosity at its peak, Mr. Sato took the elevator to the sixth floor, which opened directly upon the entrance to Kyodai.

The interior was filled with foods, drinks, spices, and all kinds of things that Mr. Sato had never heard of. From coffee, tea, and chicha morada (a sweet juice made of Peruvian purple corn)…

To jars of olives and spicy sauces

To huge stocks of Peruvian spices and seasonings, there was so much to explore!

Of course, they also had Latin America’s favorite snack, maiz cancha, or toasted corn nuts.

A refrigerated section was filled with tasty-looking sausage and empanadas that you could warm in a toaster oven, but Mr. Sato had neglected to bring a cooler bag with him, so he sadly couldn’t try any this time around.

He was particularly taken with a huge package of linguiça sausage he saw in the frozen food section. “I’m going to take that home one day,” he told himself as he gazed upon it. “And I’m going to eat the whole thing on my own!”

Alas, today would not be the day, so knowing in his heart that this wouldn’t be his last visit to Kyodai Market, Mr. Sato settled on three very simple, easy-to-carry, shelf-safe items: Marilan chocolate wafer cookies, Tabasco spicy chocolate, and a bottle of Inca Kola.

The Marilan chocolate wafer cookies were only 135 yen (US$1.22) for a 115-gram (4.1-ounce) pack, which Mr. Sato thought was a very reasonable price for the size.

These cookies are made by a Brazilian company, but Mr. Sato found them to be similar to wafer cookies he’d eaten in the past. Still, they were superbly crunchy and very tasty.

The Tabasco chocolate is actually made in the U.S. and was a little pricey at 680 yen for 50 grams, but Mr. Sato liked the cute little can they came in and didn’t mind too much.

Inside, 8 wedge-shaped pieces of chocolate were neatly arrayed in a circle like wedges of cheese, which Mr. Sato also appreciated.

Excited, he popped one into his mouth but was initially disappointed to realize that it tasted just like regular chocolate. That is until he finished eating it. The spicy aftertaste hit him like a flamethrower to the mouth. A few years ago, he’d heard on social media that these chocolates were tasty, but Mr. Sato is not much of a spicy food fan, so to him, that kick was something of a shock.

Lastly, he tried the world-famous Peruvian soft drink, Inca Kola (162 yen for a 450-milliliter bottle).

Mr. Sato had heard of it before, but he’d never seen it or tasted it. The soda was super yellow and reminded him of Coca-Cola’s Mello Yello soda.

It was extremely sweet, like someone had taken shaved ice syrup, carbonated it, and bottled it. While Mr. Sato isn’t as big of a soda drinker as some of our other reporters and the sweetness didn’t appeal to him as much, he could see why this drink is popular among soda fans, because it did have a nice flavor.

All-in-all, Mr. Sato was pleased with the results of his first venture to Kyodai Market. He has every intention to go back and buy a sausage rope to eat all on his own, so if you decide to visit the shop yourself, you might run into him! Kyodai Market also has an online store, and you can buy all three of these items there, so definitely check it out if you’re interested in trying some Latin American snacks.

Shop information
Kyodai Market / キョウダイマーケット
Tokyo-to Shinagawa-ku Higashi-gotanda 1-13-12 Ichigo Gotanda Building 6th Floor Number 602
東京都品川区東五反田1-13-12 いちご五反田ビル6階602号
Open 9:10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Monday-Friday), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday)
Open every day except for New Year’s

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