Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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My parents meet Kane and I last week after we returned from Hawaii. They wanted to go to dinner and none of us could figure out what we wanted, so we went to Uwajimaya ( A Japanese grocery store that has an asian food court.) There is always something there for everyone. Tonight we all wound up at the Hawaiian place, Aloha Plates. They are pretty awesome and make kaluha pork very close to what we had in Maui. After we ate, everyone popped into the grocery store for various items. I needed Portuguese sausage. My parents wanted almond cookies. Matt wanted Monster Hunter figures. When we went to check out with our collected items and I found VEGGIE GUMMIES!

I bought a package right away. The last time I was going to buy weird Japanese candy, when I went back they were gone!

What are they?

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Well the package has pictures of different vegetables. They include a carrot, eggplant, Onion a Red pepper and so on. They call them vegetable gummies. The gummies do have a bunch of different vegetables listed in the ingredients. They list red cabbage, Chinese cabbage, radish, broccoli, red peppers, celery, spinach and asparagus to name a few. These are all as part of the mixed juices.

Opening the package I was surprised! They are all a uniform orange color. I was expecting different flavored gummies. Holding out hope though I popped a few in my mouth.

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They all tasted the same. There was absolutely no difference in taste from one orange lump to another. We had a friend over, both Kane and she were in agreement, they were uniformly the same flavor. They tasted like… oranges. Yeah, they tasted fruity not savory. I didn’t realize that they had the gummy pictured on the front till it was too late. It blended in, I had no idea till I opened the package that these were what the gummies looked like.

Actual gummies inside the package.

Actual gummies inside the package.

Disappointment, you taste of citrus fruit! 

Here is some additional nutritional information. From what we found researching them, it’s a ploy to make them appear as a healthy snack. They are just sugar though with no substantial nutritional value.

We found some other blogs. One blogger opened them to find ALL THE GUMMIES AS A CLUMP! Horrible. They are pretty tasty but remind me of the gummie vitamins we take.

The company that makes them, Kasugai is better known for their wasabi and sriracha peas. They are yummy snacks I enjoy.

If you aren’t satisfied, you can call them between 9 AM and 5 PM local time. The number is on the bag above but remember to dial the US exit code 011.

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Asian Taste Test

Posted: October 14, 2013 by Noccie in Food, Kane, Noccie
Tags: , , , , , ,

We went back to Uwajimaya. Honestly, we don’t live very far away. Now don’t be a creeper and try to stalk us or anything.

Here is our soda taste test.

Ginseng

Noccie: Grass… it takes like grass and smoke. There was definitely a smokey flavor. They may have added some mesquite to get the “ginsing” flavor. My tongue went a little numb. This one I hate.

Kane: It didn’t have much ginseng flavor. It tasted like, weak bitter cream soda.

Chili Oil

Noccie: Smells like red bell peppers. Tastes like drinking a red pepper with sugar. We actually finished it. It was weird. Yummy… weird. I can’t say I didn’t like it but I wasn’t sure of what I thought.  It wasn’t really spicy. We have jalapeno peppers in our fridge spicier.

Kane: The chili oil drink had more ginseng flavor than the ginseng soda. It tasted more like a red pepper coated in sugar. It was slightly spicy but not as much as you would expect.

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We went to a bakery called A Piece of Cake. I was on the hunt for a durien cake. I didn’t find any cake by I found a durien pastry.

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In the past we’ve tried durien pudding and wafers. They weren’t that good. In fact they were down right gross with a flavor rancid onions or gasoline. The pastry was actually really delicious. The paste inside was sweet and savory at the same time. The flavor was still extremely strong, but it didn’t have any of the bitter nasty after taste that we’ve experienced with other durien flavored foods. I think that might be the difference is this used real durien, not durien flavoring. I still have to get a piece of durien cake. Durien, by the way, is a spikey fruit from south east Asia. It looks a lot like jack fruit, but they aren’t related at all. In the photo below you will actually see cut up jack fruit next to whole durien. The sign next to it is from a Singapore Airport.

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In the candy isle we found a real weird Pretz flavor, BBQ eel. They are the giant size Pretz too. That means they are about a foot long and a quarter of an inch thick. The Pocky have tropical flavor right now, we didn’t buy either. I don’t care for eel and don’t really want tropical flavored pocky.

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On our way home we stopped to buy a bubble tea. They are called bubble tea because most people get tapioca balls in their drinks. I think they are yummy and chewy but I don’t like them most of the time. I bought a Taro snow with egg pudding. Taro tastes sweet and like a popcorn flavored jelly bean. My other favorite odd flavors are avocado, milk and honey and chocolate with barley. (“Can you add extra oats please?” – Twilight Sparkle).

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Uwajimaya: Geek Mecca

Posted: October 1, 2013 by Noccie in Food, Noccie
Tags: , , ,

In the heart of Seattle’s international district, aka China Town, there is an Asian grocery store called Uwajimaya. They specialize in importing food from China, the Philippines, Japan and other countries on the Asian continent. During convention season though, (which is all year round in Seattle.), it becomes geek Mecca.

The reason it becomes a destination of choice because of our obsession with Japan and it’s culture. It is hugely popular amongst our kind because of anime, manga and video games. Uwajimaya doesn’t just have food, it also has an attached book store with an endless supply of manga and knick-knacks. Either way, if you have never been to Uwajimaya go and GO NOW. It’s fun just to walk around and look at all interesting food from other countries.

The drink isle is liquid weird. For example most people are familiar with the Japanese soft drink Ramune. The flavors we get most places in the United States are normal like melon, strawberry and their generic Ramune. The regular flavor takes like the candy smarties. Lately we’ve been lucky enough to get some of the more interesting flavors. The first one we tried was curry flavor. The curry flavor is initially sweet with a spicy aftertaste. It’s not till the after taste that you recognize the curry flavor. Out of all the nontraditional flavors, I could actually drink this on a regular basis. I love it. The other flavors we have tried are not so good. They must be an acquired taste. There is a kim-chee flavor. I LOVE KOREAN food. Kim-chee is awesome. This drink is terrible though. The flavor is spicy chased with a musky flavor of feet. Kane tried this as well and agreed. There was burning and then BLARGH!

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They have a Teriyaki flavor, that is actually good. The flavor of teriyaki is balanced with the sweetness of the base Ramune drink. It tastes a little like maple syrup as a soda but with undercurrents that are hard to explain. There was a flavor they had but the season has passed, Takoyaki. Takoyaki is a breaded octopus ball. They are delicious dipped in Cupie mayo and Unagi sauce. The drink version was just wrong. The sweet balanced with salty and the octopus flavor was gross. This was the only flavor we have poured out without finishing. There are a few flavors I haven’t tried yet, Ginsing, Garlic, Lychee and Chili. I’ve seen online they have watermelon, yuzu, plum and wasabi flavors. I want to try the wasabi flavored one so badly. While looking at the current soda selection, I also found a different brand that included Tomato flavored soda and an alternate curry flavored soda. Next time I head over to Uwajimaya I am picking these two up.

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This is the Curry Drink now. It used to have a different label.

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In the same isle as the soda, they have the various other drinks mostly juice based. There are a number of strange drinks like peanut milk. I have not tried this one myself but we have friends that swear it’s delicious. Yes, there are actually peanuts in the drink. There is a basil seed drink that has gelatinous little basil seeds. They have Soursop drink, which I haven’t tried. In parts of Asia Soursop is used to fight cancer. They have a variety of drinks made with aloe. They used to have a Calpico flavor in aloe that I loved but it’s not being imported anymore. You will find other drinks though that are either flavored with or have chunks of aloe floating in them. I recommend them. They are sweet and the texture is actually not slimy. I really expected chunks of aloe to be slimy.

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Onto food!

Near the ice cream isle I found these containers that had aloe and cocoa. I am curious, but I haven’t tried it yet. I love aloe drinks though. These have to be like the little jelly cups that have chunks of lychee.

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Japanese ice cream flavors are pretty delicious and strange at the same time. I love taro flavored anything first of all. Taro is a root that turns purple when you cook it or blend it. They also have avacado flavored ice cream. Everyone thinks avacado will be a gross flavor but it tastes sweet and delicious. If you don’t think you will like, get a an avacado bubble tea. The flavor comes out creamy and sweet. Some of the flavors that I haven’t tried are the cheese and queso flavor. That is my new conquest. In the popsicles they have a red bean flavor. I’ve actually tried a red bean bubble tea and I didn’t enjoy it. I find the flavor and texture distasteful.

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The most horrifying flavor for anything is durian flavored. Durian, aka jack fruit, tastes like rotten onions or gasoline. In parts of the world you are not allowed to bring durian on a plane because of the pervasive smell. Kane and I have tried durian flavored wafers and pudding. This stuff is disgusting. Although, it is a delicacy in some parts of the world. Scientists posit that some people like it because of the taste bud receptors. I just don’t know. Both times we were left with an after taste of onions and chemical burn. Avoid it unless you were raised with this fruit.

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If you don’t know anything about Japanese snacks start off slow. Go to the candy isle and get some Pocky. These are bready snacks dipped in chocolate and strawberry. There are season flavors, like right now there are cheesecake flavored Pocky. If you are looking for a salty snack, try shrimp chips. I love them. They are sweet and salty at the same time. They have a consistency similar to Funions. They sound gross but are delicious and addictive. Everyone has encountered wasabi peas at some point, well they also have sriracha peas. I really don’t know which is better. They are delicious and burny in different ways. In the bread section there are these delicious pastries that are buns. They are called pan. My favorite are melon pan, which are simply melon flavored buns. They have a variety, like cheese, chocolate, vanilla, mocha and green bean. Melon Pan are my favorite though.

Give yourself a treat, walk the isles of Uwajimaya. Find something interesting and give it a try. You will find yourself enjoying lotus root, dried fishes and pocky in no time.

P.S. On our way out we found a lychee just laying on the sidewalk.

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