sweets (Page 87)

We eat tasty, steaming Korean poo cakes

It’s been a little more than a year since we reported on ttongsul, or Korean feces wine. And while many of our readers enjoyed sampling the beverage vicariously through the five victims brave young ladies we recruited for the taste test, others took us to task for not having our regular staff knock back a glass of dookie-liqueur.

In an attempt at penance, we traveled to Korea to snack on poo-shaped cakes.

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How to master the elements by setting ice on fire, then eating it 【Recipe】

Recently, Meg, one of our RocketNews24 colleagues from our Japanese-language sister site, came to us raving about a great dessert she’d just tried. Since we’re always thinking about food, we were happy to listen as she gushed. “It’s called yakigori,” she informed us, “and people have been making it in Japan for over 100 years!”

“Oh, you mean, kakigori, right?” we responded, mentioning the Japanese word for shaved ice. “Yeah, we have that overseas, too. By the way, you should really take some medicine for that cold.”

“No, not kakigori, yakigori,” Meg insisted. To help us understand, she even wrote it down in Japanese. We read the kanji characters, 焼き氷, once, then double checked it. There was no mistake, though. Meg was talking about a dessert named “roasted ice.”

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7-Eleven’s One Piece “Gomu-Gomu no Mi”: Looks kind of like an alien brain, but it sure is tasty

Always keen to cash in and come up with some new character-themed promotions, Japan’s 7-Eleven recently began selling blueberry and whipped cream-filled bread made to look like none other than Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit from the One Piece manga and anime.

We couldn’t resist finding out what the fruit that made Monkey D. Luffy the man he is tastes like, so when we spotted the new sweet bread at our local combini we grabbed one right away. Join us after the jump for our full taste test.

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We try milk yaki, a treat from Japan’s chilly north that tastes great but somehow contains no milk

As one of Japan’s northernmost prefectures, the majority of regional delicacies in Akita are things to warm the body up. For example, Akita’s most famous dish is kiritampo, a hot-pot with chicken, vegetables, and unique cylindrical rice cakes. In recent years the prefecture’s inaniwa udon noodles, thinner than those common in other parts of Japan, have also been steadily gaining fans, as well.

But while there’s nothing wrong with some piping hot chow to fortify yourself with on a snowy night, what about dessert? Sure, you could make do with a plain old pack of cookies from the convenience store, but if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth like the locals do in Akita, you need to get your hands on the pastry known as milk yaki.

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Linguistic complications of melon bread cream puffs can be reduced to a single word: delicious

Despite its pronunciation in Japanese coming out unnervingly close to “shoe cream,” choux crème does not, in fact, refer to a product to keep your wingtips looking their shiniest. More commonly known in North America as cream puffs, choux crème are one of the many non-indigenous desserts popular in Japan.

In similarly confusing fashion, the popular chain Beard Papa sells neither razors, lawnmowers, easy chairs, nor any of the other trappings assorted with fatherhood and/or having facial hair. Beard Papa is instead Japan’s most prolific choux crème bakery, and for the next two months they’re bringing back their popular melon bread-inspired cream puffs.

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All-you-can-eat cookies!!! Aunt Stella’s cookie buffet opens in Ikebukuro Station

Japan is wild about dessert cafes and pastry shops. From donuts to pretzels to cakes, the nation’s sweet-tooth knows no bounds, and you’ll find baked sugary treats almost anywhere in the city. “So what makes this new store special?” you ask. Well, it’s not your typical sweet shop, but in fact an all-you-can-eat cookie buffet!

This Wednesday, a new location for the popular dessert chain Aunt Stella’s Cookies opened up in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro. And Aunt Stella has cooked up a bunch of tasty specials to celebrate the move!

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Osaka unleashes another adorable dessert with hotel’s bathing bear ice cream

While Tokyo remains Japan’s largest and most internationally well-known metropolis, the city of Osaka is no slouch either. Osaka is known for its simple, tasty grub, such as takoyaki octopus dumplings and kushiage, basically deep-fried anything on a stick.

Osaka is also building a pantheon of cute, animal-shaped sweets, such as the platypus pastry which was on sale there until the end of last August. For autumn, there’s a new adorable dessert in town: this bathing bear made out of ice cream.

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Happy birthday Hatsune Miku! Fan celebrates with amazingly detailed Vocaloid cake

Given the massive popularity of virtual idol Hatsune Miku, it’s easy to forget that she really hasn’t been around that long. The singing computer construct only recently celebrated her sixth birthday, which inspired one fan to whip up a Miku-themed cake.

This is far from the first time we’ve come across food that’s supposed to resemble the aqua-tressed songstress, and we’ve previously reported on Miku meat buns and even Miku bento. This just might be the most detailed recreation we’ve seen of the Vocaloid in edible form yet, though.

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Luxury hotel cooks up adorable melon bread based on JR West’s platypus mascot

As part of our quest to get paid for eating as many desserts as possible, we recently shared our impressions of the Suica Penguin cake, modeled after the popular mascot for JR East’s prepaid IC card train pass system, Suica.

But sometimes loveable mass transit mascots are like hardcore gangster rappers, and it turns out the Suica Penguin has a cross-country rival, in the form of Ico-chan, the spokes-platypus for JR West’s ICOCA train pass system. Not wanting to be shown up by the Suica Penguin’s foray into the world of cake, the only thing for Ico-chan to do was to transform himself into a tasty treat, too.

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Yes, Hello Kitty really does need a fedora, and the reason why is delicious

Has Hello Kitty finally buckled to hipster fashion trends? Has she been tapped to replace the aging Harrison Ford in an upcoming new Indiana Jones movie, under the logic that if the franchise can include aliens, why not anthropomorphic cats, too? Or has she simply decided to make a living as a hard-boiled private eye?

That third theory actually isn’t so far off the mark, but as with any good mystery, the real culprit behind Kitty-chan’s throwback headgear is someone, or in this case something, you’d never expect: custard pudding.

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Suica Penguin now a cake — See his face transform as you eat!

You may recall we reported a while ago on JR East’s Suica penguin mascot character being turned into a totally yummy-licious looking cream-filled bread. Now, Suica Penguin, as the mascot is known, has become a beautiful cake that’s attracted a fair bit of attention on the Japanese Internet recently. Of course, we couldn’t ignore such buzz involving a confection that’s bound to look adorable as well as taste delectably sweet, so we sent one of our reporters off on a mission to try the penguin cake everyone seemed to be talking about and provide our readers with a first-hand account. So, was the cake as cute and tasty as we expected?

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Can’t decide between oyster and eel ice cream? Try both at once at this Tokyo amusement park

Opened in 1996, Namja Town is an indoor amusement park in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district. The park has a variety of participatory attractions, including ghost hunts, mysteries to solve, and a romantic compatibility test for couples. Unfortunately, these are all pretty inaccessible without at least some level of Japanese language skill.

Thankfully, language barriers present little problem for two sections of Namja Town: the Gyoza (pot sticker) Stadium, which lets you sample dumplings from various restaurants all in one handy dining area, and the newly renovated Fukubukuro Dessert Street, with a variety of sweet indulgences.

But since Namja Town charges admission, it needs something a little different than the everyday ice cream found in a convenience store freezer to draw customers. Something like miso ramen ice cream.

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Hot steamed buns are a great way to cool down in summer, says our slightly crazy Japanese reporter

I used to have a co-worker who, on the hottest of summer days, would drink a pint of hot water through a straw and claim it helped cool her down. Naturally, everyone thought she was insane or belonged to some weird religion, or both, and would try to avoid working a shift alone with her.

But it looks like her weird sect of Scientology or whatever it was may have been onto something, as our Japanese reporter swears by eating microwaved steam buns to cool off in the summer.

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To live and dine in L.A.: we find marshmallow ramen in the City of Angels

Among the extensive pantheon of ramen varieties is tsukemen, in which the noodles are served on a dish with a bowl of dipping sauce on the side. My first experience with the dish was in college, when a buddy took me to a tsukemen place that had opened up near our campus in Tokyo that was famous for their sauce made with fish stock. At the time it seemed like a wildly exotic concoction, but little did I know that years later my hometown of Los Angeles would produce an even more outlandish version of the dish: marshmallow ramen.

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Are you man enough for Family Mart’s line of masculine sweets?

So here’s a tricky question: do desserts count as masculine or feminine food? On the one hand, a slice of chocolate cake is just as bold a statement of your culinary decadence as a nice fried pork cutlet. In either case, it’s at least a little wild and macho to eat something with such shaky nutritional value yet unquestionable deliciousness, similar to how I rationalize eating a pack of ham out of the fridge when I’m too lazy to go buy bread for a sandwich as being a natural result of my raging testosterone.

On the other hand, sweets are, well, sweet. Truly red-blooded males can’t even bring themselves to utter the word “sweet” unless they add “taste of revenge” after it while clenching a fist and glaring at the horizon.

Thankfully, Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart is here to help end this confusion with a line of desserts tailor-made for everybody born with a Y chromosome.

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Silly Pun Leads to Great Dessert – Special Strawberry Shortcake Available Just Once a Month at Japanese Convenience Store

In almost every company in Japan, payday is on the 25th of the month. While this means every month feels a little like Christmas, it also means that if you’ve been partying a little too hard for the last 30-odd days, around the 22nd, your bank balance might be looking pretty dismal.

But no matter how much you try to cut back, man can’t live on bread alone. Looking to treat yourself to the most meager luxury possible, you might stumble into a branch of the Japanese convenience store Lawson, where there’s a special treat to brighten your day that’s available only on the 22nd of each month. Read More

Who Needs a Cherry on Top? Osaka Café Crowns its Parfaits with Cake

Tokyo’s restaurants may have more Michelin stars, but for many Japanese foodies, the real culinary action is in Osaka. Particularly if your tastes run more towards good honest grub than haute cuisine, Japan’s second largest city is the place to be.

The people of Osaka enjoy a good meal so much that they coined the phrase kuidaore, to eat until you collapse. But even with this image firmly entrenched in our minds, the city has found a new way to surprise us with its gastronomic decadence.

On a recent day out in Osaka, our reporter stopped by a café and ordered a truly hard-core parfait. It wasn’t that the parfait was so big, and no, it didn’t contain any shocking ingredients. What blew our minds about this parfait was its topping.

It was a slice of cake, and it was so big it wasn’t even trying to fit into the glass.

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99-Year-Old Tea Shop Offers Something New: Green Tea Beer

Being in Japan gives you plenty of opportunities to knock back a beer. The country is filled with pubs, and alcohol consumptions is so accepted that should you tell people, flat-out, “My hobby is drinking,” they’re more likely to ask you to recommend a good bar than to stage an intervention. At the same time, Japan has countless places to sip a relaxing cup of tea, whether it’s the strong, frothy variety used in tea ceremonies called matcha, or hojicha, for which the green tea leaves are roasted before steeping. But with two tempting beverage choices to relax with and only so many hours in the day, how can anyone be expected to choose between tea and beer? As it turns out, you don’t have to. Read More

Cute Kyoto! We Taste Hidden Delights From a Traditional Sweet House in Pontocho

Pontocho is one of Kyoto’s most beautiful geisha districts. With traditional tea houses, restaurants and bars all crowded together along atmospheric, stone-paved narrow lanes, this area breathes the air of an old, timeless Kyoto. Within its maze of weaving, intersecting alleyways, there are plenty of secrets to discover and hidden areas to explore. Walking through Pontocho, you might notice one of its many mysteries: the area is dotted with Japanese paper lanterns, all bearing the mark of the chidori, the plover bird. They’re incredibly beautiful, but why would a cute chidori design come to be on such traditional products?

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