Before I launch into the main point of this week’s column, I thought I’d share a couple of new products that have appeared in konbini [コンビニ] in the last week or two.
Firstly, the new shirasu [しらす] salad. How to describe shirasu to those of you not familiar with it…???
Imagine tiny, tiny clear or opaque fish with beady little eyes that stare up at you as you eat them. Sorry, that was rather descriptive and not in an, “I-want-eat-that!” sort of way. Basically, they’re small sardines which sounds a lot more appealing.
You either love them or hate them. One of my students detests them, especially when they’re fried and when his mum sprinkles them over his home-made onigiri [おにぎり] or riceballs. He simply refuses to eat them, saying, “Small fish ouchy my mouth.” Yes, the fried ones do stab your mouth sometimes when you eat them and yes, they do hurt your mouth. I can’t argue with him.
Anyway… I digress…
The Lawson salad is delicious. It also contains chunks of tofu and the dressing is nice and simple and not too over-the- top. The 7-Eleven version, of which I didn’t bother to take a photo, is not. In fact, I’m not sure whether it was the amount of Miyajima Beer and Saijo sake I’d consumed beforehand, or if I just didn’t like it, but I found it far too rich and I didn’t end up finishing it. I ALWAYS finish food. Unless I’m sick or it’s really revolting. Hint: I wasn’t sick. The other yummy product I found is the seasonal Korean onigiri that comes to 7-Eleven every year around this time. Yep, I mean that yummy bibimbap or Korean mixed rice and meat assortment.
The nori [のり] or seaweed it’s wrapped in is also the Korean seasoned nori, instead of the usual Japanese type. It is in one word: DELICIOUS. And for those of you whose palate has quickly become Japanese (i.e. you cannot tolerate any spice anymore), do not fear because it’s not spicy at all.
I also found a product in Family Mart the other night that I’ve never seen. Mind you, it may have been around for a long time and I just haven’t noticed. The reason: I don’t eat cheese so I never look in that
section. I have no idea why I did the other night but it caught my eye. I snapped a photo of it for my friend as she loves cheese and dessert. When I showed her though, she said she wasn’t sure about combining the two… I haven’t tried it obviously, but if anyone does, please let me know what you think.
Okay, so the whole point of this week’s column…
Christmas is coming.
Yes, I know it’s still September (or October when you read this edition), but konbini have already dropped their Christmas catalogues.
Monday afternoon I was sitting in Family Mart drinking coffee when I noticed it. The ability to order from the catalogue was due for the next day (September 26). I just thought that was crazy. Even my native Australia doesn’t start this early. It’s always after the September school holidays and that’s a little while away. Or so I thought…
My mum informed me via email that Christmas cakes came out in the supermarkets last Friday. As in September 22.
I think that’s far too early and try explaining that to kids who keep asking when Santa is coming. Mind you, konbini at the moment is all about Halloween. Once that’s over though… it’s full steam ahead for Christmas!
Anyway, I got my hands on both the 7-Eleven and Family Mart catalogues just to see what they had and I’ve decided that hands-down, 7-Eleven has the better products.
They have cheesecake and that’s all that matters. Plus, it’s the type of cheesecake that looks like the cheesecake I’m familiar with; no fancy Japanese trimmings. Mind you, I’ve never eaten cheesecake for Christmas, but I’m more than willing to try.
I highly recommend you pick up your own copies of the catalogues to drool over and go ahead and order something for Christmas. I wish I could order the cheesecake to come earlier, but as everyone and everything keeps reminding me: it’s only about two months away!
See you all again next week! Ho, ho, ho!