New products from the big three

As I mentioned last week, I did sample the soccer/football (depending where you hail from) sized Halloween chocolate bread from my man, FM (Family Mart).

Okay, so I did more than, ‘sample,’ it, but for the purpose of taste-testing it for you. And boy, did I feel ill afterwards. And I had the most bizarre dreams all night. That’s what chocolate before bed does to you. Damn.

FM is still ahead in The Big Three (7-Eleven, Family Mart and Lawson) as far as new products go, but I have managed this week to try one new item from both 7-Eleven and Lawson just to balance things out.

Firstly, the omu-raisu [オムライス] or omelette rice from 7-Eleven. This is a, ‘gourmet,’ kind of product, if you can indeed use that word to describe konbini [コンビニ] food and is a promotional product for the new movie, Rasuto Reshipi [ラストレシピ] or, ‘Last Recipe,’ which came out November 3 and stars, Ninomiya Kazunari from possibly the most famous Japanese idol group, Arashi.

rasuto reshipi omu-rice

I love omu-raisu, so I figured, why not?

Now I know why and also, why NOT, to eat it again. Little bits of parsley (which I hate at ALL times) does not make a konbini meal fancy and let’s be honest, the simpler omu-raisu is, the better it tastes. It kind of reminds me of when my father used to cook dinner. Every time, without a doubt, it would be omelette and I hated it because he would never stick to a simple omelette but would decide to put in something else… like curry powder.

Anyway, my point is, why mess with something that’s already perfect?

The second and main thing I disliked… the brown sauce.

It tastes like an Aussie got their hands on it and decided to add Vegemite (yes, that Mother of All Dreadful-Tasting, Mystery ‘Vegetable,’ spread crazy people put on toast and sandwiches). Or perhaps they simply mixed ONLY Vegemite and water to create a thick sludge which they poured liberally over the entire thing. If you removed the sauce, I’d probably eat it again… if I was starving and there was literally nothing else to eat… on the entire planet.

Moving on.

Lawson has a seasonal chestnut onigiri [おにぎり] or rice ball I had for lunch at work the other day. I ate one bite of it, cold, and realised the rice is that gluggy kind that will sit like a stone in your stomach.

That’s when I noticed the heating instructions and decided to zap it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. That’s more than enough to release the oh-so-sweet taste of the chestnuts and to make the rice nice and soft and fluffy and light.

Yes, the heat COMPLETELY changes the taste. Do not dismiss this little baby because you ate it cold the first time. Try it again. You will not regret it, believe me.

The nashi [なし] or Japanese pear chuuhai [チューハイ] or ‘The Sweet Nectar of the Gods’ as it is more commonly known, has also made its appearance again as the seasonal flavour of autumn 2017.

It is hands-down, my favourite of favourites and yes, I would buy it all year ‘round if it were possible. I literally hang out all year for it to come back and I rejoice with a dance and a little tune in the konbini when I spot it. Suntory, I do believe you could give me a job as Chief Taste-Tester. I have excellent taste. ☺

So, yes, I may still have a thing for FM, but no one can accuse me of only eating products from there. I write about konbini, not FM, so I need to spread myself around. ☺ And I do, I always do.

I’m off now in pursuit for the best products to tell you all about in next week’s column, so I will say see you later. Get your konbini on!

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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