food

Kirin Releasing Fat-Busting Cola

This month, beverage maker Kirin announced that it will be releasing the first ever health food cola on April 24th. The drink will be called Kirin Mets Cola. No connection to the MLB team, although fans will find the font suspiciously familiar.

According to the company, the drink contains an indigestible form dextrin sometimes used as a fiber supplement, which restricts the body’s ability to absorb fat while eating. It contains no sweeteners and has strong carbonation for a refreshing feel. They also claim that blood tests performed in house after consuming the beverage prove the drink keeps levels of neutral fats low after eating.
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Goose That Laid the Golden Egg Hiding Somewhere in Japan

Have you ever seen such a lustrous gold egg before? I’m willing to bet most people would answer “no” to that. And yet, this shiny egg is the real thing! Well, at least it’s a real egg, anyway.
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Daiwa House To Sell “Vegetable Factory” Capable of Growing 10,000 Heads of Lettuce Per Year

Produce prices are almost impossible to predict, mostly because of crops ruined by El Nino, global warming, or whatever cause de jour we hear about in the news. The rest of the time we’re hit with stories about E. coli in our spinach or other edible plants being the subjects of genetic manipulation.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to avoid all of these problems?

Japan’s largest homebuilder, Daiwa House has come up with a solution to all of these produce related problems wrapped up in a 30 cubic-meter wonder box.  Dubbed the “agri-cube”, this little veggie factory lets you grow 23 different varieties of edible plants from lettuce to basil.

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Much A-Blue About Strawberries, Hypothetical Question Gets Everyone in a Tizzy

About 30 years ago, the late great George Carlin asked the famous question; “Where’s the blue food?”  In this routine he’s quick to point out that many foods with “blue” in the name aren’t really blue.  Blueberries are so dark they barely register as blue.  Blue cheese is just white cheese with blue mold in it.  And if anyone on the internet refers you to a “blue waffle” please forget you read it and move on with your life.

This culinary curiosity appears to have everyone mystified as proved by the recent landslide of attention that has befallen a website called strawberryblu.com.  A cute little article attempting to answer the question “Do blue strawberries exist?” which was written about a year ago has just recently been a magnet of attention in the middle of a fierce debate over genetically modified food.

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Celebration of Pakistani Music, Food, Fashion, and More to be Held in Tokyo

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan began.  Since then the two countries have maintained a very strong diplomatic and economic relationship.  However, culturally the two countries haven’t gotten as close as they could have.

Thankfully the Pakistan Embassy in Japan along with members of the Pakistani community in Japan have organized the Pakistan Bazaar in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.  Anyone in the Tokyo area on 24-25 March is welcome to experience the historical and cultural beauty that fills Pakistan with free admission.

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Do Milk and Ramen Make a Good Combination? There’s a Ramen Shop in Tokyo That Lets You Find Out!

Ramen comes in a wide variety of flavors. In the mood for soy-sauce based shoyu ramen? Or maybe you want to have miso-flavored ramen? How about salt (shio) or pork-stock (tonkotsu) ramen? These are the standard options for just about every ramen shop in Japan.

But what would you say to milk flavored ramen? Is such a ramen flavor even available?

Well, it is at a certain ramen shop in Tokyo, and apparently it’s quite tasty too!

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Popular Chupa Chups Go Mini

On March 21st candy company Morinaga is going to begin selling the popular Chupa Chups lollipops in a more bite-size size. The suggested retail price for a bag of 14 is 198 yen (about $2.37).

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The Heartwarming Story of a Nepali Curry Shop That Won Over the Hearts and Twitter Followers of Japan

Arguably the most famous Nepali curry shop in Japan is Daisuki Nippon (I Love Japan) in Itabashi-ku, Tokyo.  Since its opening in 2010, this tiny, independently-run restaurant has managed to get attention from all corners of the country in a story that plays out eerily similar to the plot of a Seinfeld episode.

The story begins with shop owner Pradahan Vikas struggling to get anyone to come to his store.  Sometimes he would go the entire day without serving a meal.  Faced with such hard times, Mr. Vikas turned to Twitter to chronicle his worries, unbeknownst to him that they would be the key to his success.

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Top Secret Cookie Recipe Finally Comes to Light

One day I was reading the American gourmet magazine Food & Wine and I came across this reader submission.

When I lived on the island of Hawaii, every Sunday I would buy cookies at the farmers’ market from an elderly woman everyone called Tutu, or “Grandmother.” She would sell only one bag per person until she ran out, which took about 30 minutes. Before I moved away, I asked her for the recipe. She gave it to me on the condition that I couldn’t share it with anyone for 25 years. Time has passed, and now I’d like to share it with your readers.

A cookie recipe kept under lock and key for 25 years! Of course, I had to give it a try. Read More

Spiderman-Themed Dumplings Set to Please,May Lead to a Surge in Bad Puns

Readers of this website are likely to be familiar with nikuman, the steamed rice pastry often made with meat filling.  In the past we have reported on the delicious slime shaped nikuman and Puyo Puyo themed nikuman. One thing to note about nikuman is that their name is made up of two parts niku (meat) and man (steamed bread) so that if you change the filling the suffix remains the same giving you pizzaman or curryman.

Universal Studios Japan took notice of how this is linguistically similar to the suffixes often used for superheroes in English and developed Spiderman (here the man would be pronounced kind of like a Jamacian accented mon).

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JAL Begins Serving Yoshinoya, Some Assembly Required

The Japanese airline industry has recently entered a phase of stiff competition as low cost carriers from countries like Europe have entered the scene.  Mainstays JAL and ANA have had to come up with more creative solutions to attract people to their higher-priced offerings.

JAL’s initiative has been to collaborate with popular restaurant chains so that people can enjoy their favorite foods instead of the dishes that are so-often the target of stand-up comedians.  Already they have sold hamburgers from fast food chain Mos Burger in a project called AIR Mos Burger, as well as dumplings from popular Chinese food chain Edosei with AIR NikumanThe third time’s the charm as now the granddaddy of Japanese fast food comes to the skies with AIR Yoshinoya.

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New Shop in Tokyo Offers 16 Kinds of Whale Meat and Hopes You Don’t Attack Them For It

The Ameyoko block of Tokyo is a comprised of a busy market street lined with quaint little shops selling various foods, cosmetics and knick-knacks like clocks.  You can expect to find just about anything in Ameyoko, which makes it the perfect location for Geinanhonbo, a whale-meat specialty shop, to open its newest branch.

At Geinanhonbo you can choose from 16 different cuts of whale meat from a giant fridge that takes up most of the shop space.  Red meat cuts are relatively cheap, costing 380 yen per 100g (US$1.32/oz), but more expensive parts like the tail or jaw can run up to 2,800 yen per 100g ($9.84/oz).  The store offers “almost every edible part of the whale” including the heart, which costs about as much as the red meat.

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We Order A Massive 2 Kilogram Steak And Feel Manlier Than Ever!

When western people visit Japan they often complain about the small size of the portions served to them at restaurants, especially when it comes to steak.  The average Japanese steak weighs in at around 150-200g (5-7oz) which would make for a decent sized American hamburger but little more than a frozen dinner-caliber steak. Read More

McDonald’s “Broadway Burger” Is More “Off-Broadway” Yet Delicious Nonetheless

The newest in McDonald’s Big America Series of US themed hamburgers, the Broadway Burger has been released amid much confusion over its name.  No one can really understand what’s so “Broadway” about this thing.

Anyone who has been to Manhattan knows it’s the home of some of the finest restaurants in the world.  Only on Broadway can you see a world-class play and then walk up the street to a plethora of restaurants for your choice of international cuisine. Read More

Japanese Shoppers Buying Tomato Juice Like There’s No Tomorrow, Or Like There’s A Fat Tomorrow

Supermarkets all across Japan have been struggling to keep up with demand for that barely-tolerated gritty beverage known as tomato juice.  This is the latest in an ongoing series of food fads many in the country believe to be effective in reducing weight like cabbage and bananas.

At the beginning of February one supermarket in Osaka had a well-stocked shelf of tomato juice daily, most likely catering to the odd person avoiding blood clots or making Bloody Marys.  However, on the weekend of February 10, hordes of shoppers descended on their supply of juice like so many locusts on a farm.  By the 14th, the staff was turning desperate dieters away as new shipments could not reach them in time.
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Ramen Shop Serves Mountains of Meat, Gets Customers and Laughs

There is a ramen shop in Japan that will pile the sliced pork higher than anything you’ve ever seen. It’s name, fittingly enough, is Niku-ya (Butcher Shop), and according to their sign, “We’re not a ramen restaurant, we’re meat specialists.” It definitely seems like they want to emphasize that end of the business rather than the noodles.

While it does look like a ramen shop and their customers are there to order ramen, their main selling point is definitely their meat. It’s said that their pork ramen has the largest portion of roasted pork slices of any shop in Japan! Well, we had to go check that out. Read More

Steve Jobs Much Better at Marketing than Cooking

It’s well known that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away on October 5th last year, was a huge fan of Japanese food, and not just high-end sashimi and sushi, either. He reportedly enjoyed more quotidian fare like hearty udon noodles.

He even went so far as to develop his own Japan-inspired menu item for Apple’s company cafeteria, Cafe Mac. But is it really any good? Read More

Ramen Shop’s Strangely Persuasive Billboard Brags “Nothing Good Here!”

Wherever you go in the suburbs of Japan, you can bet that there will be a ramen shop along the main road. They usually offer a large parking area and have the run down look of shops that have been in business for years and years. They’re the kind of places long-haul truckers like to stop for a meal and a nap.

One such ramen shop has made news recently when its rather unique billboard was blogged about. In bold, black letters, the sign reads, “There’s nothing good here!”
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Finally, Potato Chips That Make Us Feel Filthy Rich

On 19 January, potato chip maker, Koikeya, announced they will sell a new flavor in their Premium Series line of chips, this time using the flavor of one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles.

Sold at convenience stores across Japan from January 30 to February 6, you too can get a taste of the good life for only around 150 yen (US$2) a bag.

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A Fast-Food Joint to Visit Before You Die

First Kitchen is a Japanese fast-food chain that has been rapidly expanding in the Kanto and Kinki areas. Readers in Japan have probably been to a First Kitchen at least once, but did you know that there is a branch with phenomenal views that rival high-end resorts and skyscraper restaurants?
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