Autumn is a time for change… of konbini

Although, despite a brief encounter with Family Mart, 7-Eleven has been my favourite konbini [コンビニ] forever, I decided I should give the other convenience stores a fair go.

It all began at the Hiroshima Food Festival….

My friend and I were wandering around trying to find something new and interesting that didn’t include the usual matsuri [祭り] or festival food like fried chicken, fried potato or giant sticks of meat, when…

TA-DA!

We stumbled upon the Yamazaki stand in the grounds of Hiroshima Castle. Yep, the good old guys who make bread and other delicious sweet goodies. As they had revamped their packaging with limited edition Hiroshima Carp designs, so I decided, in the spirit of Carp, baked goods, the Food Festival and of course, the Daily Yamazaki konbini where all their yummy products can be found, I had to try something.

It was the wisest choice I made all day. In fact, for me it was the best part of the entire Food Festival. What I bought was like a breath of fresh air among the same old, same old.

So, what did I indulge in?

フライケーキ or fried cakes: three delicious balls of fried anko [餡] red bean paste goodness. All for ¥100. BARGAIN! I ate one and promptly ate the other two. I was completely satisfied and, as decided I didn’t need to try anything else, went home.

That’s when I got to thinking… why not give it a go and try more Daily food? Goto Izumi, owner of Organ-za, had warned me, however, that no matter what, I should stay away from their oden [おでん]. Both of us had the same thought: how can you stuff up oden?! I guess it’s one of those mysteries that will just have to remain unsolved because neither of us are prepared to go there.

Oden aside, this week’s column is a run-down on Daily Yamazaki, affectionately referred to as simply, ‘Daily,’ before embarking on a “Daily Challenge” of trying a heap of their konbinifood.

Daily was first established back in 1977 on December 21. It’s actually owned by Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd, which is Japan’s largest baking company and hence, why the baked goods at konbini are sooooo good!

In fact, I might go so far as to say that their bread range is better than all the other konbini. As the person known as Chikatilo pointed out on my post about melon/meron pan [メロンパン] a few months back, all of the bread is made by Yamazaki with a slightly different recipe variation for each konbini. In other words, we have Daily to thank for all of this.

Daily is also the kind of konbini you find in the countryside. You don’t go for it normally, but when you realise that it’s a long, long way back to civilization, aka, a place where konbini are found on every corner, it’s a welcome surprise. Let me just say that when you have to drive 20 minutes to the nearest konbini you will pretty much be glad to get whatever you can. You can’t be picky out in the sticks folks!

On my konbini scale it ranks at number four, with the Big Three being 7-Eleven, Family Mart and Lawson’s respectively. That said, that’s an overall ranking, not just focusing on one type of product such as their baked goods. Anyway, I have a few days to stuff myself silly with products from my two favourites before moving onto a mostly Daily diet.

Jade Brischke

Jade first visited Hiroshima with a group of her students from Australia and after falling in love with the city, vowed that one day she would return to live and work. It seems dreams really do come true! When she's not writing she's out and about with her camera, walking and exploring the streets or some may say, wandering aimlessly. She, however, doesn't believe any wandering is aimless. Jade blogs regularly at jackcrispy.com.

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