Posts tagged ‘pocky’

Save a Tree, Buy Some Chopsticks

Deforestation is still a huge problem in the world and it especially hits home for us chopstick-holding types. On a typical week, I’ll blow through a dozen or so disposable sticks. …Yikes, I’m a tree killer!

So to ease my conscience, I started searching for cool utensils I won’t need to later feed the garbage can. Here are my favorites:

Can’t stand getting your fingers greased up in a bag of potato chips? Here’s the tool for you: Chip sticks! It spares the annoyance of licking your fingers clean as you play Warcraft. Toss a bowl of rice into the bag and you’ve got dinner! ($4.32)

Not a day goes by at Los Angeles’ Japanese markets where you don’t see a bunch of anime-loving teens ogling boxes of Pocky on the shelf. I’m not sure what the fascination is, but I’m sure it’s thanks to Glico‘s marketing team putting it in our heads that a stick-like cookie covered in chocolate is the next best thing to heaven. Now you can pick up and eat Pocky using — what else? — a pair of Pocky sticks! How cute is that! ($4)

Contrary to popular belief, Asians are not genetically predisposed to eating with chopsticks. We had to practice just like everyone else. So for those of you who can’t keep them still between your fingers, here’s the utensil for you. They’re hinged together at the top end and ribbed at the bottom to prevent embarrassing slips. Practice with them and in a few weeks you’ll be able to take down flies! ($13)

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Curry in a Hurry

Only in Japan can you look at a brown puddle and say, “Hey, that looks yummy!” Though in this case, the brown puddle is a bag of curry sauce. An adorably packaged bag of curry at that:

The concept is simple: Curry on-the-go. The packets are slim enough to fit in your pocket, and you don’t have to heat it in a microwave; i.e., it tastes good at room temperature. You can pour it onto rice, bread, hot dogs, and just about anything that needs a flavor kick.

Ranging from baby-lovin’ mild to manly-man spicy, each packet contains bits of vegetable and meat, so it’s like eating the real-deal only you don’t need a stove.

This product comes from the brains at Glico, the same company that brought the world Pocky. In fact, most of Glico’s products come in candy or snack form, so it’s interesting that they’d venture into savory dishes.

I suppose that’s a sign of innovation. \(^o^)/

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

December 9, 2009 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

Good Things Come in Brown Packages

Despite the rising cost of fruits these days, I’m grateful for anything I can get at my local supermarket. Back in Japan, I’d scour the aisle for a single mango, even a squished blueberry. They’re a dime a dozen in neighboring countries, but thanks to strict import regulations they’re black market-worthy commodity. Imagine being the only kid who’s never seen a kiwi.

Luckily, there’s now a number of shipping companies (here, here and here) that double as fruit bearers to loved ones back in Japan. Freshness is guaranteed; all you have to do is choose from the catalog.

They offer rare items like papaya, avocado, green mangoes, and seasonal treats like Raineer cherries (June-July). The bill amounts to a little more than what you’d pay to ship it yourself, but considering the hassle by agricultural inspectors, I’d say it’s worth it.

And it doesn’t stop at all things round and sweet. The treasure trove includes Pepperidge Farm cookies, Godiva chocolates, booze, foie gras, fresh seafood and raw steaks. And for $60 they’ll even ship a birthday cake to your favorite pen pal in Tokyo. It’s fully decorated, though she’ll have to light her own candles. (Hopefully someone could sing to her.) Japanese birthday cakes all come the same: cute, light and spongy. So it’d serve a great cultural lesson to give an American cake to a Japanese person. “This is why you Americans are so fat!” you’ll have them saying.

Of course, with all the great food you can get in Japan — sushi, tempura, Pocky — why ask for more, right? Well, with anything in excess, even good things, the palate grows tired. That’s when you start calling your friends back home, begging them to send you a big, fat care package. Blueberries, check. avocados, check. Fillet mignon with all the trimmings, check.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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August 12, 2008 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

Taking a Test? Have a Pocky!

Right now, millions of Japanese school kids are sharpening their pencils and putting their brains into gear for entrance exam season.

With the academic year beginning in April, students are preparing now for a seat in a good school. The competition is stiff so it’s common practice for parents to dish out part of their income for after-school test prep classes, called juku. In the U.S., we have Kaplan and Princeton Review, but those begin at the college level. In Japan, it starts as young as kindergarten.

Back in the day, I was a nervous wreck taking the SATs, which is the standardized college test in the U.S. No matter how hard I studied I never felt fully prepared. I even tried hypnosis and daily affirmations to boost my confidence. Any amount of encouragement was necessary to overcome that uphill battle.

pocky-20060222.jpg

In Japan, encouragement comes by way of candy. Walk down the aisle of any grocery store and you’ll see several of your favorite sweets – Kit Kats, Pocky and the like – printed with cheers like “You can do it!” and “We’re rooting for you!” They’re called gokaku (passing the exam) goods and though the price and content are the same, to the ambitious student these god-sent gems look like bona fide assurances of success. If I were a student I’d buy every box of gokaku candy I find and then slowly consume each one as I stay up all night studying.

Japanese consumers love matching their mood with their food. That’s why so many products change their look to fit the season. In the summer you’ll see bright yellow colors and a proliferation of thirst-quenching citrus. During fall and winter there’s shades of sweet-potato brown and milky white. Springtime adds cherry blossoms to both chocolate and potato chips.

So when entrance exam season comes around the only thing students are in the mood to know is that in a few months they’ll pass with flying colors. That’s why they have Pocky on their side. Just in case.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. – Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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March 3, 2008 at 9:50 am 2 comments


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