Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What is the Ultimate Japanese Treat (French Pastries)

The French really know how to make pastries. Sure you may think this is a strange way to start a piece about the Ultimate Japanese Treat, but it’s true. It’s also true that the Japanese people (at least here in Tokyo) really seem to have a thing for French pastries.

In every store, bakery, and department store, you’re sure to see many great French styled treats, and the Japanese people seem to eat it up. So just because a culture enjoys and produces treats from another culture does that make French pastries Japanese? The thing is many cultures mix and match they’re styles with foreign foods to make them their own, and Japan is no different. I’ve seen many interesting French treats with Japanese twists, often green tea or red bean is the added.
Even if I was to accept the idea that French treats made here are Japanese, and in many cases they may twist a few ingredients to make them their own. The problem with saying that French pastries are the "Ultimate Japanese Treat" for me is that it’s too broad a category. What I want to know about is which French treats are popular or which have been around the longest before I can even consider one to be the “Ultimate Japanese Treat”

What do you think is the "Ultimate Japanese Treat", is it French?


Update Day is now going to be called New Review

When I first thought of telling people about the updates here on the blog I thought that I should come up with a clever name for this announcement. Instead I just called it update day. Then I spent the next few months trying so hard to use the words “update day” as cleverly as possible in the titles. I’ve decided that maybe update day isn’t the catchiest thing in the world and now that I’m updating a little more sporadically I think just calling it the New Review might work out better for me. So this “New Review” is the first of many, hope you like it, at least in name.

Click here to read the new review.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Make My Own Taiyaki

I found this shop that sold industrial kitchen stuff and they had a Taiyaki maker. I’ve developed a love for these fish cake deserts and I’m contemplating the shipping costs for picking one of these cookers up.


Ice Cream, you light up my life.

This little ice cream cone is not just a toy, it is in fact the greatest light bulb I’ve ever seen.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vote or Eat

Here in Japan they have all kinds of fancy treats all boxed up at local attractions. Today I was walking by the war museum and I came across this little stand selling fancy boxed sets of treats with a politician theme. Basically it was boxes of fancy little cakes with pictures of past (or so I think) politicians and political figures. Best of all the pictures were little caricatures and they were horrible.


Pez Sponges

Ever wonder if Pez is as good at cleaning your personal bits as it is at being wedged into small little dispensers only to be pulled out again and crunched? Well my friend do I have a product for you.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Second Banana Banana

On a trek here in Tokyo Allison and I picked up a chocolate covered banana on a stick. I had such expectations and was kind of disappointed. The banana was pre covered with a fairly crappy chocolate. A fresh dip would have been better and so would have higher quality chocolate. The sprinkles where put on after with little to no care. Worst of all some of the chocolate we had broke off into the sprinkle dish and I caught the lady that made our treat munching on them after. The good thing about this snack was the fact that the banana was broken into individual bits so it was easier to share.


Candy Museum?

In Odaiba I came across a store called “The Candy Museum” and at first I thought I has died and gone to heaven. I figured it would have histories of Japanese candy as well as maybe some North American candy too.

It had a few pieces of candy memorabilia but for the most part it was just a candy store with only a few treats to choose from. It sold treats from “Captain Santa Candy”, a place I’d never heard of. It looks like it might be Hawaiian but I could be wrong.


Friday, June 26, 2009

What I Need

Today while out on a walk I was feeling a little hotish, I decided to get a treat to cool me off. Fortunately I came across this that seemed like the perfect plan.
Basically it was sherbet in a pouch, this one was lemon lime. It was a fine treat once I got it started. Getting the first bit up through the tube was a challenge and when you’re boiling and want to cool down fast it’s a little frustrating.


I’m not sure if I understand…

Did that lady just swallow herself?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Links for Now

Apparently at the beginning of the month my little gummy bear shot made it as the photo of the week on the Candy Dish Blog. Those folks there are ok in my book so thanks a lot for the plug.

Also found this great recipe for Poutine. Now why would I put a recipe for poutine on a candy site you might ask? Well click the link and find out.

Treats as Asakusa

Went to go visit this cool shrine in Asakusa and I also learned a little something about the neighbourhood.
It appears to be the salty snack capital of Tokyo; in particular they had a whole bunch of Rice Cracker stalls. Picked up a special one for the book.


Candy Toys Everywhere

Tokyo is just loaded with candy related toys. I’m going to keep showing you guys as much as I can, but there’s just so much everywhere. Not only that but in some cases I’m not 100% sure if it’s candy related or just strange.
I did however see these Meiji chocolate bar puzzle games today and they’re just awesome.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Candy Fact 2

Joseph Fry and Sons made the first Chocolate bar in 1847.


Mentos, the talk back to me maker.

While walking through a mall today I came across this Mentos machine. It seemed fairly normal even though I wasn’t sure what the “Good Time” it was going to provide me with was. Then all of a sudden it blurted out something like “All right” or “Out of Sight”. I couldn’t really make it out, but I knew it was some kind of jive talk. It kept going and so did I.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberry Chocolate

I love it when a candy company takes care in the design and shape of their treats. These are a prime example of a fairly inexpensive treat that looks great. I believe that if you make candy look good it might even come across as tasting better. These tasted great and looked great so I was twice as happy.

Click here to pick up a copy of this print.


What is the Ultimate Japanese Treat (Pocky?)

So here I am in Tokyo doing a book about candy and the question I’ve had the whole time is what is the ultimate Japanese treat. I’ve taken the first few weeks of my trip just wondering around looking and observing. I have no complete answer as of yet but I’m starting to get a few ideas.
My first inclination is to look at Pocky. The reason I look at Pocky is because it’s not only Japanese but it’s becoming the Japanese treat known all over the world. But does global recognition make it the Ultimate Japanese treat?
Here in Japan you do find it in just about every store on every corner. In all the major intersections there are adds for it everywhere, both on giants TV’s and on billboards. I’m guessing it’s pretty popular here.
I guess what I’m wondering is just because a candy is popular does that make it the ultimate Japanese treat, how do things like tradition play into the mix?

Let me know what you think is the ultimate Japanese treat, is it Pocky?


Pepsi Shiso (Basil)

To follow the grand “fan fare” that was Coke Green Tea, Pepsi has introduced a new flavour to their line up. Unlike the Green Tea flavoured Coke, Pepsi Basil’s flavour doesn’t really make sense to me. I’ve never really been interested in drinking basil anything before.
Also unlike Coke Green Tea, this drink is absolutely disgusting. So gross I couldn’t manage much more than a single sip. It kind of taste like perfume or some kind of Aloe hand moisturiser, but with fizz.

Click here to learn a little more about Green Tea Coke.


Tokyo Tower Cookie Power

Allison and I went for a walk to Tokyo tower just to check it out. As expected it was both tall and a slightly ugly (just my opinion). However in the gift shop I saw something that made my whole trip to Tokyo worthwhile.
This cookie display may not look like much but the cookie spun around and around like a top. Best of all I think it was solar powered from that little square thing on the left. Even better is the fact that they had a lamp on the solar power square to keep it spinning because there was no sunlight in the shop. Sometimes things are just too cool.


Monday, June 22, 2009

One Step Further

Saw these Pocky chopsticks today and a thought crossed my mind. Why can’t I just use regular Pocky to eat my food and then eat them? It would be good for the environment and good for my tummy.


Happy national Éclair day.

Today’s national Éclair day so I decided to get myself one.

It’s funny I don’t normally think of getting an éclair and when I see them I never think I want one, but the minute I bite into it I’m a happy boy.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Update Date Day + Technical Problems = Some Joy but still some stress

The two good pieces of news I have is that it is in fact time for an update and most of the technical issues we’re having will not affect you folks reading this blog on a casual basis. If you come regularly you may notice a delay in posts here and there, but hopefully it’ll work itself out soon. This new review will hopefully cool me off a bit and get things back the way they should be. If not, another ice cream treat may be in order.

Click here to read the review.


Popcorn Kitty

I found this Hello Kitty popcorn machine at Toys R Us and it looks horrible. I assume you don’t get the popcorn that Hello Kitty is holding, but just looking at it made me a little sick. I didn’t have any change and I’m kind of glad too. I’m sure the popcorn isn’t the freshest.


Sugar Me

Saw this sign today for a restaurant called “Sugar”. The sign looked so cool but the restaurant was closed. I think I may venture back.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Travelers Tip

Here in Tokyo if you ever want to find an awesome selection of sweet treats you have to go to the department stores.
Head to the basement and you’ll be amazed at what kind of sweets you might find. It’s not the cheapest in the world but man it all looks so tasty.


Apparently it’s Ice Cream Soda Day!

I couldn’t find a great picture to post on the site and I still have yet to make one for myself. In fact I’m not 100% sure the treat pictured above is an Ice Cream Soda.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Toll House Recall.

Are you eating a Toll House cookie? It’s pretty good eh? Well you might want to read this article before you take another bite.

Click here to read more.


Kiddy Land

Checked out this store today called “Kiddy Land” and it was great. Not only did they have all kinds of toys I’d never seen before.
But they had a bunch of candy related toys that made me hungry too… wait a minute, that’s not really good as much as it’s kind of frustrating.


I see but I don’t get.

There are very few words in the commercial yet I understand none of it. Strange place this Japan.


I have a favour to ask.

Yesterday I decided to go to the Tokyo Midtown Mall. This mall is one of the fancier malls in Tokyo, you can tell this fairly simply.

First of all there’s a full on art gallery in the mall, now this isn’t just some place to get things framed that happens to have a few pieces up, this is a full blown art gallery.
It also has a really impressive roof over the outdoor portion of the mall. So I guess it’s not really an outdoor portion anymore.
It also has benches that look really cool, but don’t really work to their full capabilities.
I went to this mall in search of their fancy fruit store. I went to the fancy fruit store to check out prices for fancy fruit. I’m asking you a favour because I can’t really afford to buy any kind of fancy fruit right now. So What I’m trying to say is, would you folks be so kind as to donate some money towards the “Buy Chris a fancy fruit so he can see if it’s that much better than regular fruit” campaign?

In Canada

In the US

Just click on this donate button and give what ever you want. I’ll take the results on August 1st and put it towards the most expensive fruit I can buy. The cheapest thing I found in the store was a lemon for 174 yen that’s about 2 bucks. The priciest single piece of fruit I found was a melon that sold for 22,000 yen that’s about 250 bucks. There’s lots in-between but let’s go for the melon.

Thanks in Advance.


Another Candy Shot

I love this shot, not just because it’s got a nice composition, and not just because the colour worked out so well. I love this shot because I love green jellybeans. They’re in fact my favourite jellybeans of all times.

Click here to buy a copy of this print