Monday, August 7, 2006
- French Bakeries are everywhere! Cream puffs are very popular and sold refrigerated to keep the cream filling very cold. Tiramisu is another popular dessert flavor. It fits in very well with the easily found parfait style dessert.
- In a land of many food stores and bakeries lining the streets- I have yet to see anyone eat outside of a restaurant. Food is simply not eaten out in public! I’ve been marveling at this all along, but yesterday’s gazing out at the crowds of Kyoto’s train station was simply stunning in that no one was drinking or eating. Were this America, every teenager would have a Big Gulp glasped in their hand, and all the Christina Agularia looking fashionistas would be clutching mochas or some other Starbucks type whipped drink.
- Take home convenience meals are very notable in the grocery stores. Lots of prepped food items, from pre-chopped stir fries, and meats already threaded on a skewer, to breaded items that just need deep frying.
- Chocolate is gaining ground in popularity. Apparently word got out that cocoa can be good for you, now single varietals with cocoa percentages listed is the rage. We even see 99% cocoa bars sold along side candy bars here! In a moment I can only attribute to jet lag, I bought one to try… yep, its just baking chocolate… eeeuuuch! For all its gaining popularity, chocolate is still very much an accessory flavor. The bakeries for example, don’t carry chocolate-items per se. They do have chocolate filled crossaints, but I have not seen a chocolate cookie or brownie. I think a brownie would blow their minds.
- Japanese desserts are a nice mellow level of sweetness- much more muted and subtle to my previous aesthetic. Maybe its the heat- but I find myself not being able to stand anything that is too sweet.
- Hot dogs and sausages are popular. Corn dogs are noted asAmerican style hot dogs. Our night out for sushi revealed even cute weiner nigiri! A finger sized sausage on a pillow of rice, strapped down with a nori belt and drizzled with mayo.
- With such the influx of buttery pasteries and other non-Japanese style treats, I can’t help but speculate on Japan’s changing health statistics…