Family Mart: my new ‘boyfriend’

Two weeks ago I wrote about my ‘break-up’ with 7-Eleven and the need to expand my horizons in search of new products. It’s been difficult and to let you in on a little secret… I have finally accepted and actually gotten used to the new anpan [あんパン]. Saying that though, I have taken the first step in giving other konbini [コンビニ] a chance of something long-term and I can now reveal that I’m in the early stages of a new relationship with Family Mart.

Family Mart is a quieter kind of ‘guy’ who isn’t as flashy as 7-Eleven, yet is enduring and has certainly reached my expectations of product quality. Family Mart, you are IN!

Feeling a little low after the whole 7-Eleven incident, I stopped in at Family Mart, only to discover a new bread range that includes a chocolate chip melon/meron pan [メロンパン], a melon-flavoured melon/meron pan and a sickly pink-coloured momo [もも] or peach jam and whipped cream bun.

Family mart breads

What makes this momo bun special is that the jam is from Fukushima prefecture. After the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and of course, the nuclear disaster, it’s good to see that Family Mart is helping to promote products from the area. Many people unfortunately, are still very wary of consuming food from Fukushima, but slowly that view is changing.

Unfortunately, my intolerance for anything dairy means that I couldn’t try the cream bun for you and of course, you already know I detest melon-flavoured stuff. I did, however, taste the chocolate chip melon pan for you. Of course I did; you know my obsession with melon pan and wouldn’t have expected anything less.

One word: WOW. The chocolate chips are made from real cacao, which is a bean that is used to make high quality chocolate. It’s been hailed as a superfood and I figure that I can therefore delude myself into believing that its inclusion in the melon pan makes the food a totally healthy option. Yeah, yeah, I know, but humour me anyway.

Not only is the bread range great, but Family Mart has released a new cylindrical ‘onigiri’ [おにぎり] or riceball, that is called suteikku inari [ステイックいなり]. Yes folks, it’s steak encased in a delicious sweet, fried tofu sack. Delicious! I’m not a huge steak fan, but this blew me away. You NEED to try it.

Steak Inari

On Saturday night I also decided to try the new mikan [蜜柑] or mandarin orange-flavoured chuuhai [チューハイ] or cocktail from the Suntory Strong Zero range. I’m not a fan of mikan particularly, but this was okay: not too sweet and not to sour. Just right in fact. Good work. It’s a pity it’s a limited edition, because I could see it catching on quite nicely.

Mandarin Orange Strong Zero

Yes, Family Mart is not my usual type but he kind of surprised me and came out of nowhere. I’m glad I took the chance to get to know him better because I’ve been grinning like a fool ever since! I know you’ll love him too, so go out in search of your nearest one and try these products and anything else you might find interesting.

Until next week…

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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