snacks

Just like the cherry blossoms, KFC potato chips return to Japan this spring!

Last year, something beautiful came to Japan. It was only here for a short while, but in that time, it left a deep impression on many people, including us here at RocketNews24. And while we were sad to see it go, it’s time to dry our tears, because this spring, it’s coming back again!

So, all excited for cherry blossom season? That’s great, but what we’re actually talking about right here are Kentucky Fried Chicken-flavor potato chips.

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Pocky maker claims Korean snack ripped off its packaging design, and it’s hard to disagree

You might expect working at one of Japan’s largest candy makers means every day at the office is filled with smiles, sunshine, and sentiments as sweet as the products they sell. But the management at Osaka-based Glico’s mood is downright sour these days, as the company claims rival Lotte’s new product is such a thinly veiled copy of one of Glico’s hits that it’s a slap in the face.

The company is in no mood to let this one slide, either, which is understandable since some say Lotte has been ripping off Glico for more than 30 years.

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Power of soybeans turns Bean-Throwing Festival into sexy action flick in awesome commercial

Despite being centuries-old, the core traditions of Setsubun can seem as silly as its common English rendering, The Bean-Throwing Festival. Once a year in early February, households across Japan toss roasted soybeans outside their doors, with folklore saying the practice will ensure prosperity for the next 12 months by driving off the ogre-like creatures called oni.

Perhaps the oddest thing is the way the oni are depicted in illustrations and popular culture. Generally obese and clumsy, they seem to present little if any threat, and the fact that they can be undone by a scattering of legumes doesn’t do anything to help them win street cred, either.

But what if the oni improved their eating habits and started hitting the gym? Would that make them terrifying once again? Maybe, but it also just might make them dead sexy, as shown in this stylish Japanese ad.

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Japanese convenience store FamilyMart inadvertently gives away pearl in pack of seafood snacks

In a lot of ways, convenience stores in Japan are more like miniature supermarkets. So while they still sell a lot of the candy and canned beverages their counterparts in other countries specialize in, you can also find plenty of edible, even gourmet-sounding food.

For example, the chain FamilyMart sells pouches of fried scallop meat, specifically the mantle, or part of the animal that attaches it to its shell. There’s a certain level of risk that comes with eating any mass-produced foodstuff, though, as one customer found out when he found what he felt was a foreign object in his pack of marine mollusks. And while generally the only thing you want to find in your food is, well, food, we suppose if we had to find something else mixed in there, we’d want what he discovered hiding in his snack: a pearl.

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Get Disney treats at FamilyMart this winter — including Olaf-shaped chocolate steamed buns!

It looks like Disney fans may have something to look forward to when they visit Family Mart stores in Japan this winter — especially if they have a sweet-tooth. That’s right, for a limited time, Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart is offering some delightful-looking desserts in collaboration with Disney’s mega hit film Frozen and their newest release (or soon to be released in the case of Japan) Big Hero 6. And as if that doesn’t make us happy enough, they even have a campaign going on where you can win special goods tied in with the two movies.

Let’s see what Disney sweetness is being served up at FamilyMart stores across Japan!

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Mikan flavored potato chips sound gross, but may actually be genius marketing

We recently brought you a round-up of some of the weirdest snack foods available in Japan, and now we’re about to add another one to the bag – Mikan (Japanese Tangerine) flavored potato chips! Such a flavor may seem shocking, even deviant to some of us western folks, but there’s a clear marketing strategy behind these new tangy treats that’s bound to result in success in the Japanese market. See if you can guess what it is, then join us after the jump to find out if you were right!

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New Lotte chewing gum promotion features cool guys to suit every taste

Lotte’s new advertising campaign for its range of gum products takes inspiration from ikemen “cool guys” often featured in anime and otome dating sim games. The company has released their new “Gum Boyfriend” advert debuting five guys, each with their own different personalities and quirks corresponding to one of Lotte’s brands of refreshing gum. But which chewy bad boy is your favorite?

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Japanese netizens show love for “English Toast” which is neither English nor Toast

With such a wide range of delicious and delectable (and, erm, shall we say unusualsnack foods available in Japan,  it’s a little hard to understand when people get whipped up into a frenzy over plainer options, such as toast and bread crusts fried with sugar. Now, twitter users in Japan are getting their tastebuds in a twist over the confusingly-named “English Toast”, a sweet snacklet that first became popular in Aomori prefecture and has now expanded into a whole range of conbini sandwiches. But what on earth is it?

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【TBT】Chocolate-covered squid, corn Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Japan is a crowded country, and that goes for just about everything. Even store shelves are crowded. Most people do their shopping on foot, which means supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be on the small size, and shelf space is always at a premium.

As such, companies have to do something to make their products stand out. This is why so many Japanese beverages and snack foods have seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited time. Of course, taste engineers in Japan can only come up with so many normal flavors, and when they run out, the only thing to do is go on to the abnormal flavors.

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Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make

It’s amazingly easy to find good food in Japan, which is largely due to how hard many food industry professionals work when choosing ingredients are and preparing their dishes. Every now and then, though, the country stumbles across some new delectable that, by any logical standard, has no right tasting as good as it does while being so quick and simple to make.

For example, this week Japan discovered a delicious cheese snack with just one ingredient that you could be enjoying in literally two minutes.

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Sailor Moon tortilla chips come in three flavors and a whopping 18 different bags

There are a number of upsides to Sailor Moon Crystal, the recent reboot of the smash hit anime from the 1990s. Aside from benefitting from 20 years of advancement in animation technology and technique, the franchise’s proven record of success means that Crystal has a higher budget and sticks closer to creator Naoko Takeuchi’s manga than the previous adaptation did.

Still, a reboot is a reboot, and if you’ve already watched all 200 episodes of the original Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon Super S, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, then you’ve got a pretty big head start on many of the places Crystal’s plot is going. So if you’re the kind of person who snacks when you get bored, maybe some Sailor Moon tortilla chips will help you pass the time.

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Happy Pocky Day! Japan celebrates with huge towers and crazy art featuring the beloved snack

The vagaries of reading in Japanese mean that often the same text or numbers can be said a variety of ways. For example, some of the many readings for 2 and 9 and “ni” and “ku,” which combine to form niku, the Japanese word for “meat,” which is how November 29 became known in some circles as Meat Day. Going from the carnivorous to the carnal, 8 can be read as “hai,” making both November 28 and February 8 observed as Knee-High Socks Days.

Sometimes, though, you don’t need pun-filled pronunciations for an excuse to start a pseudo-holiday. Writing November 11 all in numerals gets you 11-11, and all those vertical lines look to some like a handful of enticing Pocky sticks. And so, this week Japan celebrated Pocky Day by not only devouring boxes of the stuff, but by turning the chocolate-covered treats into works of physical and photographic art.

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New coffee-flavored potato chips “taste like chaos”

Just like how everyone gets excited about superhero crossover projects, two different companies combining forces is a sure way to get junk food fans in Japan fired up. We’ve seen this before with Kentucky Fried Chicken potato chips, and now spud lovers have a new flavor many people are used to getting amped by: coffee.

Since we’re always ready to add to our extensive resume of potato chip sampling, we picked up a bag to try some for ourselves, and they turned out to be even more surprising than we’d imagined.

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Slow News Day Special: Save your snacks in style with this moderately clever “lifehack”

The idea of the “lifehack” – at least as far as the Internet knows it – has been around long enough that we’ve long since progressed from wide-eyed, childlike wonderment at the simple genius of saving a bagel in a CD spindle, to dubiousness and bafflement at the increasingly complex and hit-or-miss lifehacks folks are tossing out these days.

So, forgive us for still being on the fence about how we feel towards this next lifehack: Behold, the “Baby Wipe Lid Chip Saver.”

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One bag of wasabi potato chips, hold the wasabi

It’s hard to think of a more Japanese condiment than wasabi, but even among diners born and raised in Japan, you can find people who order their sushi wasabi nuki, or without wasabi. We can see why, since not everyone who loves the flavor of raw fish also enjoys the sensation of simultaneously having their sinuses cleared and their tongue set on fire.

What’s a little harder to understand, though, is why the makers of wasabi-beef flavored potato chips have decided to offer a wasabi-free version of their salty snacks.

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Mysterious bags of Japanese mushroom snacks are hard to get, create intrigue online

Already home to a plethora of weird and wonderful snacks, a new contender appears to have hit the Japanese market.

Usually, snack makers like to lure in young and old with fanciful cartoon mascots and promises of salt and/or sugar-based delights. But food producer UHA appears to have taken a totally different route with their Kinoko No Manma, which loosely translates as “mushrooms as they are”, but a slightly more fitting interpretation might be “I Can’t Believe They’re Not Mushrooms!” As the snack’s name implies, its main selling point is that the things inside the bag look exactly like freshly picked mushrooms, but in fact they aren’t…

Or are they? It’s exactly that confusion, and the snack’s rarity, that’s causing many online to wonder: “What do these things taste like and how can we get them?”

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Bangkok has its own magical moving emporium stuffed with snacks, candies and toys!

Once upon a time in Bangkok, there was a magical moving emporium that only opened its doors to a lucky few. Inside, those who were permitted to enter could feast on every kind of sweet treat imaginable, and when they stepped out of this cave of wonders, they found themselves in a completely different place.

You might think this to be a fairy tale or the stuff of urban legend, but Thai native Kittiphun Khongawatkiat was lucky enough to chance upon this amazing taxi filled to the brim with snacks and candies and took some snaps to prove its existence.

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Cute, snack-loving Japanese parakeet proves even birds go into food comas

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Japanese language here at RocketNews24, but that’s not to say we don’t have any issues with it. For example, Japanese doesn’t really have a good equivalent for “food coma.”

We can understand certain words that are tied up in cultural or historical context not existing in other languages, but the absence of food coma in Japanese seems like a pretty big oversight. After all, everyone occasionally zones out after a really satisfying meal, whether your native language is English or Japanese…or if you happen to be a parakeet.

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We leap into autumn by eating a pack of tempura maple leaves

Earlier this month, we found out that the city of Mino, in Osaka, has been selling tempura maple leaves for at least a hundred years. Since we’ve made it our mission in life to eat everything that can be deep-fried (barring non-food items like deep-fried scissors), we immediately called Hisakuni Kosendo, one Mino’s maple-cooking outfits, and ordered a pack to try for ourselves.

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5 awesome Japanese ice creams that are perfect for summer 【Video】

It’s the middle of August, and while the days we’ve been having recently aren’t quite as face-meltingly hot as those a couple of weeks ago, it is nevertheless still pretty toasty out there. Thankfully, just like when suffering with a cold or sore throat, the summer heat does afford us one very tasty luxury: a genuine excuse to gorge on delicious ice cream!

If you’re feeling the heat this summer, or are just curious about some of Japan’s go-to ice cream treats, join us after the jump for a special video featuring five of our frozen favourites.

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