Photo: Heart Ltd.
Forget bowls or plates, why not eat your candy straight out of a toilet? After you’ve built the small plastic toilet, and decorated it with accompanying stickers, you fill the bowl with candy. Just add water and the toilet fills up with sweet foam, which you can suck out using a straw. The idea of drinking from a toilet bowl sounds disgusting, but the foam is surprisingly delicious and comes in either cider or cola flavors. The concept of this candy may be bizarre, but we think you’ll agree that the Moko Moko Mokolet’s toilet humor speaks to the child in all of us.
In 2012, Pepsi came out with a seasonal limited edition salty watermelon flavor. Watermelon is a normal enough flavor, so why the salt? Well, in Japan, some people sprinkle salt on their watermelon, to bring out its sweetness, so perhaps Pepsi thought to do the same… but in drink form.
The salty watermelon flavor may also be inspired by another popular drink here in Japan, Kirin's Salty Lychee, which uses salt to help maintain hydration. Salty Lychee is a refreshing, lychee-flavored sports drink. It is so popular that it can be bought at almost every convenience store in Japan, especially in summer.
Photo: Cup Noodles
The Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama offers ramen ice cream, which may sound like a dream for ramen lovers, but probably sounds terrible to everyone else. The museum currently offers two kinds, regular and curry. The ice cream is served inside actual cup noodle cups and even comes with normal cup noodle toppings, like chives and carrots. However, if you can adjust to the idea of savory ice cream, then the cool, creamy ramen ice makes for a refreshing summer snack.
If ramen in your ice cream wasn't strange enough, in Japan you can also get horse meat! Basashi is a traditional Japanese food, a kind of sashimi made of raw horse meat. Even on its own, it is one of Japan's weirdest foods. But Basashi ice cream takes it to the next level. The ice cream is made with chunks of horse meat, inside vanilla ice cream, for a salty-sweet combination. You can get this unique ice cream at a specialty shop inside Ikebukuro's Namja Town.
Once you’ve finished your horse meat ice cream, why not quench your thirst with some eel soda? Japanese drink manufacturer Kimura Inryou once created a drink made with actual grilled eel extract. The company is based in Shizuoka, a prefecture famous for its eel, and the drink was sold at souvenir stores throughout the region. While eel may be the last thing you want in your fizzy drink, the company may be on to something. Roasted unagi (eel) in Japan is cooked in a sweet soy sauce, with a caramel-like taste. Reportedly, the eel flavor in this soda is very light, with just a hint of that caramel sauce.
Photo: PR Times
Japanese KitKats are famous worldwide for their vast array of flavors. The brand has come out with flavors from onsen manju to wasabi, and everything in between. Even different regions around Japan have exclusive flavors, like Hokkaido's melon flavor and Kochi's yuzu sake. However, each flavor is carefully tested to ensure that, no matter how odd, the result always tastes great! This past year KitKat has already come out with plum, tiramisu, and sparkling wine.
Now, KitKat’s latest flavor is whole wheat biscuit. While normally, chocolate and biscuit go well together, what about biscuit-flavored chocolate? These KitKats even have bits of biscuit mixed into the chocolate itself. If you like the taste of graham crackers or digestives, then you’ll like these too! You can try this latest KitKat flavor in Tokyo Treat’s May box! If you want to get your hands on some of KitKat’s other Japan-only flavors, check out Japan Haul's great selection here.
At this point, you may be wondering why there are so many weird Japanese snacks. Part of the reason is that many foods and flavor combinations that are common in Japan are not well-known worldwide. Also, seasonal trends here are huge, with many flavors coming out for a season, never to be heard from again. With such a fast turnover, brands are constantly coming up with new flavors, with creativity on the verge of absurdity.
Finally, some brands are well known for coming out yearly with odd flavors for publicity. While these snacks may be strange, and some aren’t to everyone’s taste, there are plenty of treats that may surprise you… if you're up to the challenge!
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