Summer is coming, and with that come new konbini [コンビニ] products! Although I visit konbini every single day, I pop in at least once a week specifically to check out what new products are available.
This week I’m going to introduce four new products that I’ve tried from 7-Eleven. There are more out there that I haven’t tried yet; these are just a few of my favourites.
Firstly, the most exciting one I found was at one of the 7-Eleven stores in Yokogawa. This is particularly special because it features pickled Hiroshima-na, a spicy vegetable with a crunchy texture with added kiri konbu [切昆布こんぶ] shredded seaweed. Yes, instead of the ordinary kombu or konbu, you can now get this Hiroshima one but only for a limited time of course. Try it while you can!
I love konbini salads too and personally I think that 7-Eleven is way ahead of the rest with their range. I first discovered this particular salad last summer and have been eagerly awaiting its return. 7-Eleven delivered as always! It consists of a chicken and tofu hanbaagu [ハンバーグ] or hamburger pattie with edamame [枝豆] or green soybeans scattered throughout it. This sits on a bed of mixed greens, shredded daikon [大根], which is a type of large white radish and kinpira [きんぴら] or chopped burdock root and carrot. The salad also includes a dressing and small pieces of chopped red chili. I find it’s not only refreshing but lovely and light for the hotter weather that late spring and early summer brings.
Of course, no new product review would be complete without talking about the essential summer item: alcohol. What better way to celebrate than by having a skinful… I mean, a few drinks?
Now before I introduce the two drinks I taste-tested just for you (actually, just for me, but anyway…), I want to explain that one of these drinks can ONLY be found at konbini. Yes, it’s a limited edition and you will not be able to find it at any supermarkets.
Summer is the time for lighter, fruitier drinks and although I love the Strong Zero range of canned cocktails by Suntory, I find they pack way too much of a punch in hot weather. That’s why I was thrilled to discover that the sickly sweet Strong Zero Pineapple flavour which is way too, well strong, has been replaced by a lighter 5% drink that still uses the -196°C method that is used for their Strong Zero brand. For more information on this method, you can check out their website right here.
This limited edition, konbini special is Okinawan Pineapple flavoured and it could be described as an “adult’s version” of pineapple juice. It’s not so strong that it renders you unable to see clearly, but not too light that it has no effect either. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who likes to have a bit of a tipple.
The other drink is also by Suntory, but is from their Horoyoi [ほろよい] range which is only 3% alcohol. The new flavour I tried is mango and to be honest, although it does have a nice taste, it’s like drinking mango nectar. I don’t need to try it again.
Well, that’s all for this week’s column! I hope I’ve given you a taste of some of the wonderful flavours that are available at this time of year and that I’ve inspired you to try not only these ones, but the other products that are at 7-Eleven right now.
See you next week!