2022’s top stories in food and cooking news 【SoraNews24 Year in Review】

Let’s take a moment to digest the year’s top stories about what went in our bellies.

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The cool way to peel a mandarin, according to a Japanese grandma

Become a mikan master with this neat hack, endorsed by the Japanese government.

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Mandarin orange peels aren’t trash, they’re treasure! Three chimpi tips to reuse your mikan skins

Japanese granny, of course, knew things we didn’t.

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Japan’s gorilla poo oranges are now in season, and being given away for free!

”Miraculous” fruit is an auspicious way to start the new year, growers say.

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Mikan Gohan: Japanese soul food or…Japanese myth?

An odd local specialty that’s surprised the nation. 

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Love Live! character with controversial skirt to continue as orange spokesperson, petitioner says

Change.org petition organizer says agricultural group has pledged their continued support to the anime schoolgirl idol.

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Love Live! poster showing anime schoolgirl in see-through skirt divides public opinion in Japan

Otaku, artists, feminists, and a Tokyo assemblyman weigh in on the controversial crotch-revealing image.

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Cat kotatsu let your feline friends relax through winter the Japanese way【Photos】

Kitty-sized furniture comes bundled with a huge supply of winter snacks for their human caretakers.

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Capybaras celebrate winter in luxurious mikan bath【Photos】

Hot springs aren’t only for humans.

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Hamster chills out in mandarin orange skin, looks adorable 【Video】

If I saw this inside my mikan, I don’t think I’d be angry.

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Japanese Twitter falls in love with unusual vending machine in Akihabara

There’s good reason why people from around Tokyo are making the trip to Electric Town to get a taste of these special beverages.

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Twitter user finds incredibly clever way to reuse Japanese capsule toy containers

Sure, the toys are cool, but it turns out their cases can be pretty useful too.

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Japanese mandarin-orange-flavored potato chips make a comeback!

Enjoy the crisp, salty taste of potato chips with a blast of…mandarin orange?

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Hay fever got you down? Cheer up, you get to eat some yogurt with orange peels!

Ah, spring: that season which is supposed to be a pleasantly warm and sunny break from the bitter cold instead makes millions of allergy sufferers feel like they have invisible daddy longlegs of fire crawling across their faces 24/7.

From masks to medicine, there are plenty of products on the market to combat the symptoms and reduce exposure to the evil, evil pollen, but they all encumber your freedoms by blocking your vision or clouding your mind. However, a new, all-natural method of subduing allergic reactions was presented at a meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry, and best of all it uses easy to find ingredients: Yogurt and mikan (tangerine) peels.

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Next time you eat an orange, why not make it into an orange caterpillar first?

During the winter months Japanese people often like to relax under their heated tables (kotatsu) and enjoy a nice mikan tangerine. Its juicy sweetness and vitamin C is a great compliment to these chilly nights. But really, anywhere in the world, anytime is a good time to enjoy some variation of orange, isn’t it?

So next time you get ready to peel a mandarin or clementine how about making it into a caterpillar first like many Twitter users in Japan have been doing in recent years? It’s super easy and we’re going to show you how.

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Have a rice cake! Have a tangerine! Why not have both with the visually stunning mikan daifuku?

Eating sweet tangerines, or mikan as we call them here, while snuggled in a warm kotatsu table is a favorite winter pastime in Japan. (And believe us when we say it becomes a struggle to leave the comfortable warmth of the kotatsu for anything short of a grave emergency.)

Well, thanks to Japanese confection maker Akasaka Aono, you can now enjoy winter tangerines in a slightly unique form. They’ve wrapped a whole tangerine inside a soft daifuku rice cake! Now, that’s certainly an unusual presentation for a daifuku, so it’s not surprising that the Japanese public has taken notice, and since we’re always on the lookout for interesting foods, one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch promptly tried the cake to give all of us a first hand account. Let’s hear what she had to say about the unique tangerine and mochi confection!

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Mikan flavored potato chips sound gross, but may actually be genius marketing

We recently brought you a round-up of some of the weirdest snack foods available in Japan, and now we’re about to add another one to the bag – Mikan (Japanese Tangerine) flavored potato chips! Such a flavor may seem shocking, even deviant to some of us western folks, but there’s a clear marketing strategy behind these new tangy treats that’s bound to result in success in the Japanese market. See if you can guess what it is, then join us after the jump to find out if you were right!

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Orange-flavored rice balls: Japan’s newest way to fuse vitamin C and carbs

Ehime Prefecture on the western coast of Shikoku is known all through Japan for its tasty mikan, or satsuma oranges. Although the fruit is delicious enough on its own, the people of Ehime love to think up new ways to enjoy the fresh taste of a local orange. In the past, we have seen funny-shaped oranges and even citrus-flavored fish, but now there’s a new way to get some vitamin C in your life: orange-flavored rice balls.

We dropped by a shop near the hot springs that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away which sells the rice balls. But these little delicacies are only available for a limited time, so click below to find out more about this surprisingly delicious culinary creation!

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Truck spills its load over road in rural China, pilfering locals ordered away at gunpoint

You’ve probably heard the story before: a truck carrying fishgrapes or some other foodstuff overturns on a rural road in China; minutes later dozens of people are on the scene shoving as much of it as they can into plastic bags. Often the people filling their pockets are simply living in poverty and, laws be damned, aren’t going to miss the chance to procure some free food, making it difficult to condemn them.

This time, when a truck spilled its cargo on a road in Lanzhou, China, authorities were on the scene in a flash to stop the mob of villagers that had quickly descended on the scattered fruit. When the police felt the need to start pointing guns at women old enough to be their grandmothers, however, it certainly raised a few eyebrows online.

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