Japanese beverage maker Suntory has just announced it will be releasing its first-ever cherry blossom-flavoured Pepsi this spring.
The French carbonated orange drink Orangina has been widely accepted in Japan as one of the top sodas. In fact Japanese beverage company Suntory now owns the beverage in all Asian and European markets.
So it was with great anticipation that Japanese consumers welcomed the new lemon flavor, dubbed Lemongina, on 31 March. However, that warm welcome lasted barely a few minutes as Twitter was flooded with complaints that the new drink “tastes like dirt.” This was followed shortly thereafter by a flood of complaints that it “doesn’t taste like dirt” when drunk after hearing that it did.
Had Suntory made a major blunder in their artificial flavoring, or is part of Japan undergoing mass hysteria? We headed down to the supermarket to find out.
The story of Momotaro is one of Japan’s oldest folktales, but a lot of its elements seem a little silly. For starters, the hero’s name translates as “Peach Boy.” His companions are a monkey, a dog, and a pheasant, who he wins over by giving them some sweet dumplings in exchange for their help against the story’s villains, who all have outie bellybuttons.
Goofy as these details may sound, though, the core of the tale is absolutely epic. A young hero who harnesses the power of wild beasts, then sails into the heart of demon territory to rumble with them on their island fortress? In a world where every literary and comic character is a candidate to become a darkly stylish action hero (heck, even Batman’s gritty reboot is getting its own gritty reboot), why hasn’t someone revamped Peach Boy into something closer to Peach Man?
Actually, someone already has, but you won’t find the new Momotaro in theatres, and while you might catch him flipping through the channels on TV, you can’t find his adventures scheduled in the program guide. That’s because this amazingly awesome version of Momortaro is actually a series of commercials from Pepsi.
With its startling name, it’s taking time for the yogurt-like beverage Calpis to catch on with non-Japanese consumers, who sometimes know it better by its alternate name, Calpico. For people in Japan, though, Calpis is old hat, so much so that its makers occasionally feel the need to mix up the product line with new versions and special flavors.
This year, that means strawberry Calpis. We just got our hands on a bottle, and if you can get past any hang-ups about the name, here are four ways to enjoy this delicious limited time treat.
We’ve talked before about all the cool Kit Kats Japan gets, but the chocolate-covered wafers aren’t the only sweet indulgence with exclusive-to-Japan versions. Once a year or so, Pepsi releases a special flavor for the Japanese market, too.
This winter the soft drink maker is bringing back a popular hit from a few years ago, with the return of strawberry milk Pepsi.
In some ways, the huge amount of vending machines in Japan seems like a win-win situation. In a country that gets incredibly hot and sticky in the summer, it’s nice to never be more than a few minutes’ walk from a cold drink, and for beverage companies like Coca-Cola, the machines are a huge source of income.
That said, all of those vending machines are essentially coin-operated refrigerators, collectively sucking up a huge amount of electricity. In an effort to cut down on their energy consumption, Coca-Cola has developed a new type of unit that spends as much as 16 hours a day not using any electricity at all to keep its products nice and cool.
Feeling thirsty? MEN’S CIDER COOL PUNCH (official name, no extra emphasis from our side) will cool you down, and reinforce your extreme manliness.
While doing a little shopping at her local Lawson Store 100 (a convenience store where everything is priced at around 100 yen), reporter Yumeno over at our sister site Pouch stumbled across a rather unusual drink from Tochigi Prefecture that we doubt many would be willing to drink without steeling their nerves first: “Tomato, milk and lemon blend.”
Seriously? Tomato, milk and lemon all mixed up together!? For the sake of science and because we love to laugh, our brave reporter grabbed a couple of cartons and brought them back to the office for a taste test.
Ttongsul, or “feces wine”, is a Korean drink made by pouring soju, a distilled grain alcohol, into a pit filled with chicken, dog, or human feces, and leaving the mixture in the pit for three to four months until it ferments. It is then extracted from the pit and drank straight, with the belief that it can cure illness and help in the aid of bone fractures.
It sounds like the stuff of urban legends, but Ttongsul is indeed a real beverage that, while by no means popular, can still be found if you know where to look.
How can we be sure? After nearly six months of extensive research, RocketNews24 was able to track down a private Ttongsul vendor in South Korea and procure a bottle of the elusive feces wine ourselves.
Anyone who frequents the Japanese convenience store beverage case has probably noticed that some bottled drinks occasionally come packaged with collectible figurine, some of which double for actual bottle caps.
“Japanese people love figurines, so what?” you say. Well did you know that the first character to ever appear atop a Japanese bottle cap was the thirst-quenching superhero, Pepsiman?
Say it with me now: ♪Pepsimaaaan!♪