Sunday, May 2, 2010

How Japan sees the world

Update: Now with correct desserts. Thanks to everyone who helped with translation!

When I go around an Asian market, I'm not usually fond of picking up any candies that are milk flavored or have some cream based flavor. I've gotten bags of chewy milk candy before and they've tasted somewhat artificial. I've gotten bags of creme flavored candy and they've turned out to be overpriced Creme Savers. Being burned a few times has soured my experience with creme candies at Asian markets. However, on a recent trip to the market, I saw a bag that just looked so ridiculous that I had to get it:

This basically looks like Disney's, "It's A Small World", on a bag of candy. Except this bag of candy isn't robotic and creepy. I think the squirrel in the center playing the violin is a nice touch. On the top we see each country is marked by an important landmark. The United States is represented by the Great Ferris Wheel, China has Mao's Clock Tower, Switzerland has the Upside Down Ice Cream Cone, and Italy and France both share the Giant Pumpkin Building. These are all great landmarks that every tourist should visit in my opinion.

L-R: China (Mango Pudding), France (Strawberry Mille-feuille), United States (Apple Pie), Italy (Tiramisu), Switzerland (Cheesecake)

Okay, every dessert listed was pretty much a guess except for the United States. As we can see, every figure is eager to have you try their dessert and prove to you that their desserts are superior. If I were judging this contest this is how it would go:

1. China: Their Mango Pudding was really good. However, it had the taste of canned peaches, and not necessarily mango. Canned peaches are delicious, so China gets the gold medal in this competition.

2. France: Their Strawberry mille-fueille reminded me of a cereal I've had before, I can't quite remember what it was. Anyway, it was very good and it was a flavor that I have not found in candies. Maybe the cereal was Frankenberry. Wait, no, maybe not. Anyway, it was second best and very good.

3. Switzerland: Cheesecake is a certain third. I'm not really sure what dessert they were going for, the picture tells me Cheesecake, but the flavor tells me Lemon Meringue Pie. I'm not sure what the Swiss specialize in. All I know is that it was the definite middle of the pack when it came to these candies.

4. Italy: Tiramisu was okay, none of the candies in this bag were bad. Tiramisu wasn't really all that sweet, but you could definitely tell what they were going for. It has a nice smooth flavor and was pretty good. It was surprising, but not as good as the previous three candies mentioned.

5. United States: Obviously this candy is some sort of anti-U.S. propaganda. I mean, come on, how can Apple Pie not be the best tasting one? When I ate this, there was nothing but apple flavor which I could have gotten from any other hard apple candy. As good as those may be, in this bag, the U.S. did not cut it. As a patriot, I am extremely disappointed that this candy was the worst of the bunch. However, the U.S. has a pretty cool mascot on the bag.

This candy really surprised me and made me really consider trying creme candies from Asian markets again. I must admit, when one of the students said that the candies tasted good, I had my reservations. However, now I know that it was true and that good creme candies can be found at Asian markets. Plus the bag's pretty cool too.

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