Nat, my fiancé, has an older brother who has a house in Japan and often travels there for business. For Christmas, he and his family gave us a bounty of weird Japanese snacky treats. Because we didn’t have room in our suitcases, Nat and I shipped them from California to our apartment in New York. The package arrived yesterday, and this morning we opened it up and finally broke in to what ended up being some of the weirdest stuff I have ever tasted.
I’m not sure what most of these things are, but I’m sure I don’t really want to eat them ever again. One taste was more than enough!
Nat and I each took a bite. At first the taste was mild, and I waited for the hint of green tea to appear. Instead, though, I started to recognize the taste as something different. It developed slowly, and getting a firm grasp on what it was took both of us a couple seconds…WASABI. Not a good flavor, guys. I think you can let that one go.
The next package looked pretty innocuous. I mean, clearly these are roasted soybeans, right?
Yeah, I have no idea! They had the texture of powder that had been packed tightly–in your hand they felt and looked like they should be solid, as a soy nut would be, but once you bit down on them they pretty much gave in and dissolved. Pretty unexpected.
The next ones had promise! It looked like they were probably chocolate-covered sesame sticks (and I love chocolate as well as sesame sticks, so a win/win, right?) and almonds. Maybe a cool little snack to keep in one’s purse!
Those chocolate things were just chocolate-covered hollow shell things. With a weird flavor. Um, next, please.
Judging by the picture on the package, these Cratz things are supposed to be accompanied by beer. They were like dense pretzels, but rolled in weird flavor powder. The one on the right tasted, I’m disgusted to say, like hot dogs, which makes me wonder if they had some kind of meat by-product in them. Ugh, I hope not. I hate eating meat by accident like that.
Both packages also contained almonds. I guess almonds are a common ingredient in snack foods in Japan?
Finally, and to me, grossest, is this stuff, which Nat loves. Apparently it has a terrible smell, although I have had the good luck not to have noticed. Nat was eating some in San Francisco, though, and someone came into the room and said, “What smells like garbage? Ew, like rotting garbage!” Not only garbage, but rotting garbage. Appetizing, right? Who wouldn’t want to eat something described that way?
Dried cuttlefish. This is one of those things that I can’t even imagine opening and tasting, let alone liking.
Clearly I am not a very adventurous eater. Maybe some of these snacks sound good to you! If so, I’m sorry because I think we got rid of most of them. But you can probably find them on your next trip to Japan.
Are you an adventurous eater? What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?