Friday I brought you the saga of a bear being pursued by hovering hamburgers, chocolate-encased gummi candy that is made from fruit grown in vats of human remains, and a gum so black they called it black twice! Today I will be wrapping up this exciting two part series on Japanese snack foods with notable entries like the mysterious sushi candy and pretzels flavored like corn on the cob. I received a number of informative e-mails after my last update and I can now tell you that "Black Black" gum not only contains caffeine but also nicotine, so for you folks trying to quit smoking you might want to look into importing some of it.
Without further ado let's get on to the banquet of despair. Be sure to stick around for the end when I wheel out two oddball items that probably should not be eaten.
"Scary Sushi Fudge Tubes" (English Name Unknown)
Click the image for new style super enhance version okay.Packaging: This is hands down my favorite packaging of any of the candy. There is no English text other than the perplexing use of "Open" on the perforated cardboard opening, but the cover is bursting with crazy-eyed animal cartoons of indeterminate parentage. They look sort of like penguins but appear to have slabs of fish and fruit adhering to their backs. A view of what I assume is the candy contained within is also in the upper left-hand corner, which leads me to believe that the candy is some sort of marshmallow and gummi fusion intended to resemble sushi. Less sense-making is the fudge you can see emerging from the marshmallow. Inside this box are ten or so individually foil-wrapped pieces of candy.
Aroma: Packing peanuts that smell faintly of vinegar.
Texture: The candy consists of a marshmallow stuck to a gummi sushi, so it shouldn't be too difficult to infer the texture from there. Both marshmallow and gummi were particularly soft for their respective candy thanks to being individually sealed in the foil.
Flavor: The taste of the gummi slice on top of the marshmallow is overpoweringly tart but with a little chewing you will also get the marshmallow along with a slightly unusual chocolate surprise. I'm not sure what kind of chocolate they use to inject inside the marshmallow but it's definitely not normal. It tastes alright but it has a weird gritty texture that may be from some sort of ionic bonding with the marshmallow.
Review: Pretty damn good! You don't get very many of them considering how giant the box is and you really have to eat two or three before you can tell what they taste like. I gulped down the first one and never tasted the chocolate. A second and more deliberate attempt introduced me to a rich chocolaty flavor that worked amazingly well with the little marshmallow and the gummi. I don't know if it would do very well over here just because of the sushi angle, but the flavors work and I could see gummi dinosaurs on "dino poop" filled marshmallow skulls or something.
3.5 out of 5
Crispy Pizza PretzClick the image for new style super enhance version okay.Packaging: These come in a box resembling Pocky, which for the uninitiated are a Japanese pretzel-type snack most commonly found with chocolate coating on one end. Japanophiles love Pocky for some reason but to me it tastes just like crappy and insubstantial Nestle Flipz. The front of the package features a pizza much like an American style pizza only not quite. It has some uncooked leaves stuck on top of it and just looks somehow off to me. Thrusting up boldly next to the pizza are what I assume are the Pretzi, which look like baked match sticks rolled in mysterious and I'm sure magical herbs.
Aroma: Oddly enough the individually wrapped packages smell like American cheese slices when you open them.
Texture: Each of the four individual packages inside the box contains about ten Pretzi. A Pretz is pretty much like a stick of Pocky which is to say it's a long and narrow cylinder with one side flattened and darkened by the cooking process. Basically imagine a very dainty version of those big dark brown pretzel sticks you buy at the store, the ones with the nickel sized salt cubes stuck to them. This particular variety of Pretz has a very fine dust of flavoring adhering to the outer surface that gives it a powdery texture.
Flavor: Basically it tastes like you took a tiny bite of a normal pretzel. Pretz don't have a lot of "meat" to them, which means they taste like almost nothing, and to my barbarian American taste buds the flavoring dust on the outside has about as much taste as the wind. To see if I was missing out on something I crammed three of them into my mouth at once and I have come to the conclusion that they taste like soy sauce and flour.
Review: Mmmmm, soy sauce and flour. These things have so little flavor to me that their might as well just be salt in the package. Like anything with salt on it they are strangely addictive but definitely not something I would choose to snack on with any regularity. I'm also going to have to deduct a point for the fact that eating ten of them is about as snack-satisfying as drinking water.
2 out of 5
Corn PretzClick the image for new style super enhance version okay.Packaging: The packaging for the Corn Pretz is identical in format to the packaging for the Pizza Pretz, with two instead of four individually wrapped Pretz not-quite-a-snack-snack-packz inside a long box. On the cover in place of the leafy pizza are a couple of ears of corn that look like they've seen the wrong end of a flamethrower. Not particularly appetizing to a good old fashioned boiled corn boy like myself but certainly nothing disgusting or creepy.
Aroma: Slightly rancid corn chips with a hint of mustard.
Texture: Even though you would think that "corn" would be a flavor baked into the Pretz itself it is apparently applied to the outside of the Pretz with a fine flavor dust just like the Pizza flavor. This interesting approach leads me to believe that they're going less for a corn flavor and more for a fake corn on the cob flavor. Just like the Pizza Pretzi they are slightly sandy textured thanks to the fine coating of powder.
Flavor: I was quite surprised by the level of flavor on these bad boys. You would think that "pizza" would be a much bolder taste sensation than "corn", but these things have a very strong corn on the cob taste to them. They don't taste like Fritos or any other corn chip, they taste like pretzels covered with microscopic buttered ears of corn. Japanese shrinking technology at work? I think so ma'am!
Review: The bold flavor of corn on the cob is not one commonly seen on shelves across America, possibly because we eat so much damn corn we don't really want our pretzels and chips tasting like it too. Nevertheless those crazy Japanese have created an artificial corn on the cob flavor that tastes fairly convincingly like corn on the cob. Unfortunately for me, corn on the cob flavored pretzels are actually kind of gross.
2 out of 5
Dakara GumClick the image for new style super enhance version okay.Packaging: Dakara gum has a kooky medical theme going on with the mostly white packaging and big red heart on the label. Other than "Dakara" and the word "gum" the only English on the label are the words "Life Partner". Should I share this gum with my life partner? Is the gum itself my life partner? Or are we talking about a sweeping and general "life partner to all of mankind" type of theme here? I can't really answer these questions, but I do know I opened the package slightly nervous that the gum might contain AIDS.
Aroma: Urine stained sheets woven out of dried apples.
Texture: The gum is off white and looks and feels just like your average stick of Wrigley's gum here in the United States. I thought I might have detected a pinkish color on the gum but it turned out my retina had detached again and I was seeing through a glaze of blood. No biggie, just an old recurring boxing injury from my bare knuckle days.
Flavor: Dakara tastes pretty similar to the Wrigley's fruit flavor that comes in the yellow packages. It's a mysterious tangy, fruity taste, that is just a little bit tangier in Dakara than it is in Wrigley's. The taste goes out of the gum extremely rapidly.
Review: I'm not too big on fruit flavored gums but Dakara does the job about as well as can be expected. Unfortunately, it suffers from the "rapid flavor withdrawl" syndrome that most fruit flavored gums fall victim to, leaving you chomping on a plug of bitter sludge in about ten minutes or so.
3 out of 5
Ume GumClick the image for new style super enhance version okay.Packaging: The flowery and romantic packaging and gold lettering that reads "Fresh & Fruity Fragrance" had me geared up for a trip to the gay bath house. Seeing as how the only Japanese I've picked up from all my Hentai game playing is the phrase "please stop raping me" for all I know "Ume" actually means "homoerotic".
Aroma: Explosion in the perfume factory.
Texture: With my eyes watering from the overpowering fruit smell wafting off the package I managed to pull a stick of the gum out and unwrap it. Inside was a red stick of gum with your usual conveyor marks on it and a generous dusting of flour or rat poison or whatever that stuff is.
Flavor: Welcome to the 1980s! Fruit Stripes gum is apparently back and bigger than ever in Japan, only instead of a singing rainbow-striped zebra the Japanese get flowers and gold text. I feel like unlacing my Keds, putting on some sunglasses with bright orange frames, and busting out a break dance routine to the "Fruit Island Cereal" theme song. Ume gum tastes EXACTLY like Fruit Stripes gum, which translates to a bucket of artificial flavors and sugar that is slightly sour.
Review: I'm ready to hop into my Delorean after chewing up a couple sticks of this gum. It's definitely my favorite of the gums and maybe even my favorite of all of the products, but the packaging has got to go for me to carry it around. Maybe if I draw some skulls or something on the label with permanent marker I can enjoy Fruit Stripes gum and still retain my fragile masculinity.
4 out of 5
That ends the parade of dubious deliciousness, but aside from confections there were a couple of other boxes of interest in the package Peter from J-List sent to me.
Gundam Wing Themed Condoms
Click the image for new style super enhance version okay.I will be the first to happily admit that I have never watched an episode of the Gundam Wing anime. It seemed better than Pokemon or Dragon Ball Z but just a little bit too much on the repetitive and homoerotic side for my tastes. Proving once again that my tastes are a poor barometer for the rest of the world Gundam Wing has become extremely popular, so much so in Japan that they have knockoff Gundam Wing condoms. I guess if you're having anal sex with a frail white-haired teenager it might be nice to be protected from venereal disease and ass impregnation by the mighty armor of Gundams. The box proudly asks "This new type do you have survive?" This is a deep and philosophical question that one cannot rush to answer, you must contemplate it wholly and allow its meaning to permeate every fiber of your body. A clue to this elusive meaning is given in very small text at the bottom of the box where it reads; "Condoms is type SEX-78 series." Okay, I admit I still have no idea what it means, but the condom robot on the package looks like it could blast some serious crotch graboids.
"Titack" Themed CondomsClick the image for new style super enhance version okay.These bad boys are definitely my favorite thing out of the whole package that Peter sent. I don't know if it's the fact that they called them "Titack" instead of "Titanic", if it's that horrible clip art boat on the front, or if it's the bizarre cartoon condoms reenacting the idiotic prow scene from the movie. I was pretty disappointed when I tore open the foil on one of the condoms and discovered that they did not have arms like on the cover of the box. I hate to reinforce stereotypes here, but I did a little scientific experiment and these condoms are definitely smaller in length and girth when compared to their American counterpart. I have an average sized penis - you know, about 36-40 inches soft - and there is not a chance in hell these things would have fit it.
This is probably going to be the last time I do this for quite some time and my internal organs are already applauding my choice. That is, unless some fine distributor of weird German or Russian confections would like to get in touch with me in an attempt to cause me a combination of gout and shotgun suicide. A Clever Ruse
Frolixo here to provide you with a html link to a EMAIL PRANK that will knock the socks off your feet and kill your loved ones. I know you may be saying to yourself "I thought Frolixo was a gentleman, not one to partake in such trickery". Well this is a special case. I have been harassed, threatened, and physically beaten over my articles, and I won't stand for it anymore. Take a look at part of the emails I received and tell me if I'm wrong for getting my panties in a knot.
"Please excuse me for my language right now, but your article enraged me so much, that I just cant sit here being all polite. How the fuck can you say that the children of America are filthy dogs when you injected heroin into the class pet? And spiked their apple juice with LSD. Are you fucking insane?!?! What were you thinking?! Do you want these kids to die? And it’s people like you who need the help who yell and swear at 10 year olds just because they ran over your lawn. I understand that you might worship your lawn or whatever you do, but just because they ran over your lawn with a couple of bikes, that doesn’t give you the right to swear at them and threaten to burn their tree house down."
You see what I have to deal with around here? It's bad enough to have to bunk with Greasnin and his funky feet, but this is unacceptable. Hopefully when I was through with her, she learned her lesson about picking on people that write silly stuff on the internet. So put your cursor over the link provided: CLICK HERE DUMMY, and I promise you a few laughs at a very stupid person's expense.
You Will Read This Headline. Then You'll Laugh. Then You'll Realize You Were Wrong All Along.
'We’re going to be in trouble!' Little Sister wailed, clutching her favorite book to her chest and sobbing. 'This isn’t fun like a story anymore!' But Big Sister was not listening, she was thinking. She grabbed Little Sister’s book from her and ran into town, yelling 'Help! A book made me and my sister hurt someone!'
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.