food

Vegetables are smarter than fruits: Three high IQ Japanese veggies

Vegetables are smarter than fruits: Three high IQ Japanese veggies

I’ve lived among Japanese fruits and vegetables for 17 years and one thing I can say for sure is that vegetables are waaay smarter than fruits.

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“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

From the country that brought you carbonated espresso comes a coffee and cola drink claiming to be Brazilian that’s described as a “delicious Carnival.” Wait, what?

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Japanese netizen teaches us how to make awesome sausage isopods for bento lunches

Japanese netizen teaches us how to make awesome sausage isopods for bento lunches

Packed lunches in Japan, or bento, are arguably more exciting than an anywhere else in the world. While such delicacies as cheese sandwiches, chips, and so-not-real-food-it’s-scary “snack packs” reign supreme in the West, typical bento lunches in Japan almost always involve things like rice, vegetables, fish, fried chicken, and potato salad. You name it, if it’s decent food it’s in there, and very often crafted into some cute character or artistic arrangement by a loving parent or spouse.

Today, thanks to a Twitter user in Japan, we’re going to learn how to turn the humble wiener or cocktail sausage into something far cooler: a mini version of a giant isopod.

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Nissin hopes to score a World Cup GOOOOAAAALLLL! with Brazilian flavored noodles

Nissin hopes to score a World Cup GOOOOAAAALLLL! with Brazilian flavored noodles

Japan loves limited time offers. There must be a department in every company in Japan with people whose purpose is to think of items they can sell for a limited time. Don’t believe us? Walk into a convenience store weekly and see the multitude of new drinks and new foods that appear and suddenly disappear when their time is up. The limited time offer, is nothing new, but it seems that Japan embraces the concept more than anyone else. It’s a handy way to get customers to continue to visit your store, or buy your products if every month or few months your products change.

With the World Cup just around the corner, companies in Japan are rolling out their limited time World Cup products and today we have a few that try to capture the flavor of Brazilian food.

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Doughnuts meet sandwiches — with both sweet and salty results! 【Taste Test】

Doughnuts meet sandwiches — with both sweet and salty results! 【Taste Test】

If you’ve been visiting our site for any length of time, you’re probably aware by now that we love stories about unique snacks, and we’re particularly delighted when they’re treats we can actually go buy and try ourselves. So, when we heard that special “doughnut sandwiches were being sold at Tokyo Station, we naturally had to get our hands on them and see how they taste.

We’ve already told you about how croissant doughnuts were making their presence known here in Japan, but could these doughnut sandwiches be the next big thing? Well, there was only one way to find out!

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We try the new 7-Eleven premium popcorn that everyone in Japan is going wild about

We try the new 7-Eleven premium popcorn that everyone in Japan is going wild about

Earlier this week, netizens in Japan started going nuts about a new range of popcorn on sale at 7-Eleven. Unlike in some countries, 7-Eleven Japan takes great pride in regularly launching new, limited-edition snacks, and more often than not they’re surprisingly tasty. The response its latest product garnered, however, was ludicrously enthusiastic.

When netizens got wind of the “amazingly delicious” new caramel and (curiously) cheddar cheese flavoured popcorn on sale at their local Sebun, people apparently started bulk-buying, resulting hundreds of tweets going out bemoaning a lack of stock and pestering 7-Eleven – who then added fuel to the fire by acknowledging that the snack was indeed hard to come by – and demanding to know where they could get it.

Curious to find out what all the fuss was about, we procured a couple of bags and sat down to conduct a little taste test. I can tell you right off the bat, though, that the super-amazing mecha-delicious popcorn pretty much everyone in Japan – including our own Japanese staff – is raving about really isn’t worth all the hype.

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Why are smartphones making people chew less gum?

Why are smartphones making people chew less gum?

Part of the reason smartphones have become so popular is the way in which they combine the functions of so many other devices people used to lug around instead. With the ability to browse the Internet, listen to music, play games, and take high-quality photos, it’s becoming increasingly harder to convince people they need to shell out the cash for a dedicated camera, handheld video game system, or music player.

But why is it that as more people buy smartphones, fewer of them are buying chewing gum?

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No time to cook? No problem! Three easy ways to improve instant curry

No time to cook? No problem! Three easy ways to improve instant curry

Even though it’s pretty easy to make, there are times when you just can’t be bothered to whip up a regular batch of curry. While the individual steps might be simple, the total process of peeling, chopping, and boiling all those ingredients can take a long time, so often people who are busy, lazy, or bachelors take the easy way out and just microwave a pack of instant stuff.

Convenient as it may be, though, instant curry isn’t always the tastiest version of the dish. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to spruce it up.

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7-Eleven’s Premium Popcorn is apparently so good it barely even exists

7-Eleven’s Premium Popcorn is apparently so good it barely even exists

We’ve already talked about Japan’s penchant for limited stock and limited-time seasonal items, but I’m starting to get the impression manufacturers and retailers are playing us for fools. Zipping down to the grocery only to find that at least some of the basic items you wanted are sold out is a common headache in Japan, as if retailers are hoping we’ll all be like, “Oh man, white bread must be really trendy right now. Guess I’ll buy five loaves next time.”

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is downright diabolical about this kind of stuff, with a constantly shifting roster of goods that seem to come and go arbitrarily, which Japanese consumers have apparently picked up on because they’re currently in a crazy purchase panic over 7-Eleven’s delicious new Premium Popcorn.

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We head to France to try Nutella sushi

We head to France to try Nutella sushi

We’ve brought you sushi doughnuts from Thailand and even cat sushi, but take a look at this Nutella sushi from France. Our office was so intrigued by the sweet Japan-inspired concoction that we sent one of our Japanese reporters over to check it out.

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How to make McDonald’s four-patty burger diet-friendly: Hold the everything

How to make McDonald’s four-patty burger diet-friendly: Hold the everything

A lot of people in Japan start to feel down in the dumps in May, as the excitement of the new jobs and school years they started in April gives way to a daily drudgery with the next public holiday months away. For us, though, May has suddenly become the happiest month of the year so far, with the return of McDonald’s Japan’s massive four-patty Mega Mac on May 19.

Here at RocketNews24, we try to stay one step ahead of the latest burger trends, however. Sure, everyone’s excited about having extra meat now, but what if the next big thing is less meat? Could we order our Mega Mac with no meat, or anything else, for that matter?

As it turned out, not only was McDonald’s willing to indulging us in our minimalistic burger experiment, they even got in on the process by offering us some advice.

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McDonald’s Japan’s eight-nation World Cup menu kicks off next week

McDonald’s Japan’s eight-nation World Cup menu kicks off next week

Japan loves cheering on its sports teams in international competitions, and with the World Cup just a few weeks away, soccer is set to dominate TV programming, advertising, and the national consciousness in general.

If you’re not personally a fan of the Beautiful Game, you might feel a little left out of the conversation for the next couple weeks. So since you won’t be using your mouth for talking, why not stuff it with some of the 14 new World Cup-themed menu items McDonald’s is rolling out in Japan?

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Smartphone game’s virtual tour of Japan lets you win real-world watermelons

Smartphone game’s virtual tour of Japan lets you win real-world watermelons

As someone who grew up playing video games that let you throw fireballs, suplex trains, and slay dragons, I’m a little confused by the appeal of some of today’s simple, low-key smartphone games. In particular, any game where you run around having to harvest food baffles me, since I always assumed the best part of farming and agricultural distribution was actually getting to eat something when it was all done.

Thankfully, the makers of the upcoming title Gochipon seem to agree with me, and are rewarding the best players with honest-to-goodness fruit.

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Falafel, beer, and water wheels: Shibuya and Harajuku’s tucked-away treasures 【Hidden Tokyo】

Falafel, beer, and water wheels: Shibuya and Harajuku’s tucked-away treasures 【Hidden Tokyo】

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the bustling, beautiful megalopolis of Tokyo, then the city really is yours – you just have to know where to look. And if you want to get away from the tourist trail and get down close to the beating heart of the capital, a journey into the back streets of the 23 wards is where you’ll wind up.

Come with us as we take you into different neighbourhoods and spend an afternoon exploring some of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. Today we’ll take you around some of Shibuya’s lesser known backstreets, where you can chow down on falafels, pick up some of the best coffee and soak up a hip, laid-back atmosphere.

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Sucks to be sausupō: The trials and tribulations of Japanese lefties

Sucks to be sausupō: The trials and tribulations of Japanese lefties

I was born a lefty, but apparently somewhere along the way I decided that there must be something to this right-handedness thing, since 90 percent of the world was doing it. I made the switch to using my right hand for most things around the time I started kindergarten, and ever since, the unusual transition has been my go to excuse for never excelling at sports that favor precise dexterity over running into people as hard as you can.

Had I stuck with the cards life had dealt me, though, my daily life might have been different in a number of ways, as shown by this list of troubles left-handed people in Japan run into.

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Orange-flavored rice balls: Japan’s newest way to fuse vitamin C and carbs

Orange-flavored rice balls: Japan’s newest way to fuse vitamin C and carbs

Ehime Prefecture on the western coast of Shikoku is known all through Japan for its tasty mikan, or satsuma oranges. Although the fruit is delicious enough on its own, the people of Ehime love to think up new ways to enjoy the fresh taste of a local orange. In the past, we have seen funny-shaped oranges and even citrus-flavored fish, but now there’s a new way to get some vitamin C in your life: orange-flavored rice balls.

We dropped by a shop near the hot springs that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away which sells the rice balls. But these little delicacies are only available for a limited time, so click below to find out more about this surprisingly delicious culinary creation!

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Broccoli bonsai and sweet sushi: Japanese culture’s evolution abroad【Photos】

Broccoli bonsai and sweet sushi: Japanese culture’s evolution abroad【Photos】

Bonsai and sushi are two of Japan’s most well-known cultural exports with fans all over the world. But while Japan may cling to the traditional presentation of these two icons, globalization has taken these Japanese icons and turned them into something new. Not just happy with tiny trees and raw fish on top of vinegar rice, these cultural hybrids have evolved into something far beyond their origins in the Japanese archipelago. Click below to see some very creative bonsai as well as some food that really stretches the definition of “sushi.”

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Any volunteers to eat at this terrifying cliff-side restaurant?

Any volunteers to eat at this terrifying cliff-side restaurant?

It seems the Chinese countryside isn’t exactly a friendly place for people who are afraid of heights. We already talked about the horrifying Huashan path that winds up a cliff side and sometimes narrows to barely perceptible wooden planks hovering out of the fog, but it turns out life-endangering attractions involving great heights are all the rage in China.

This is the cliff-side Fangweng Restaurant, located just north of Yichang City.

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31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

We’ve all been there. You excitedly tear off the wrapper on the new snack you’ve been waiting to try, only to find that it’s half the size of the picture on the box, or doesn’t contain the mint leaf daintily arranged on the image on the packaging. That’s why packaging runs the line “serving suggestion”, anyway – to let the manufacturer show the food at its best without being accused of, erm, lying.

A project from the delightfully named German website PUNDO3000, werbung gegen realität (“Adverts versus reality”) attempts to stab back at food manufacturers with painfully real photos of food items. We’re always on the look out for the gap between jazzed-up photos and the real deal, so join us after the jump for 31 of the best!

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Japanese women reveal six pitfalls to watch out for on your ramen date

Japanese women reveal six pitfalls to watch out for on your ramen date

Up until a few years ago, ramen joints were more or less the bottom rung of the Japanese dining scenes. Sure, the food might have tasted great, but they tended to be so crowded and dirty that many women refused to set foot inside one.

Recently, though, ramen restaurants have been cleaning up their act, sprucing up their interiors, and attracting more and more female customers. With more and more women appreciating a steaming bowl of Japan’s favorite noodles, some couples are even heading out on ramen dates.

But just as ramen restaurants had to meet certain criteria before they could win over the fairer sex, so too are there missteps a ramen-loving boyfriend has to avoid to keep from spoiling the mood.

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