Will this turn out to be a traumatic experience?

It’s human nature to want to avoid trauma, but right now in Japan, curry lovers are running towards it, with the release of a new Japanese curry series called “Trauma Meshi” (“Trauma Meals“).

According to the manufacturer, “Trauma” in the product name is used in its “best sense” to mean “something so delicious that once you take a bite, you can’t get it out of your head and have unforgettable flashbacks of the deliciousness.”The Japanese pronunciation of trauma, “torauma”, also offers a play on the words “tora” (tiger”) and “uma” (“horse”), so both animals appear at the top of the packaging.

Neither of those animals are used in the actual making of the product, though, simply lending their powerful imagery to express the intense flavour of the curries inside. There are two varieties currently available, the Trauma Meshi Pure Butter Beef Curry and Trauma Meshi Garlic Beef Curry, but we settled on purchasing the garlic variety, to limit the trauma.

▼ The curries were on the shelf at our local supermarket, priced at 732 yen (US$4.99) each.

The images on the packs were certainly powerful, with a huge chunk of butter on one and an entire clove of garlic on the other. Given that these are called “Trauma Meals”, a small blurb on the packaging reassures us that these are purely for illustrative purposes, so you won’t find a slab of butter or garlic clove inside.

▼ “An exaggeration of the flavour impact, so it’s not included in this way”

After following the instructions on the pack to pop the retort pouch in boiling water, we prepared a plate of rice and poured the contents of the pouch out onto the plate.

▼ It looked absolutely beautiful.

As we admired the glistening sheen on the roux, our nostrils began to detect the distinct aroma of garlic. It was deliciously pungent, and when we went in for our first mouthful, our taste buds were instantly traumatised by the amount of garlic that washed over them.

▼ The garlic in this curry is insanely overwhelming.

The roux contains both grated garlic and dried garlic, which gives it a punch so powerful Dracula would keel over and die after just one mouthful. The curry itself was light with a medium spiciness, which is perhaps why the garlic feels so intense, and the entire combination, with the beef, was finished to a high standard.

After the initial trauma of the first garlicky spoonful, the meal turned out to be delicious, and it’s one that we would rate highly in the world of retort curries, so much so that we found ourselves licking the plate afterwards.

Be warned, though, as the Garlic Beef Curry won’t just traumatise your taste buds, but everyone else around you as you’re bound to stink of garlic for a good while afterwards. Still, for curry lovers with a soft spot for garlic, this is all par for the course, so you might as well go all out and truly savour the experience by using the correct curry spoon.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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