Vending machines are an iconic part of daily life in Japan. While there’s sure to be a vending machine on every street corner in Tokyo, in even the most rural areas of the country, you’re never too far away from a cold - or hot - beverage.
That’s right! Unlike most western countries, in Japan, vending machines serve up both hot and cold beverages year ‘round - and during the frigid winter months especially, you can find some very uniquely comforting options. Coffee and Milk Tea are common... but have you ever tried canned soup from a vending machine?
BOSS (ボス) is a Suntory brand known mainly for their variety of canned coffees - with the image of prolific american writer William Faulkner printed on every can - and extremely popular commercials featuring Tommy Lee Jones - BOSS is an iconic brand known throughout Japan.
This winter, BOSS has decided to enter the canned soup arena with two comforting varieties of “Special Fine Soup” - sold exclusively in vending machines - to warm you up on the streets of Japan!
Corn soup, or corn potage (コーンポタージュ) as it’s known in Japan, is a yoshoku (western style food) staple. Loved for its creamy texture and savory sweet flavors, corn potage is so common throughout Japan that you can even order it from McDonald’s!
The Boss Bistro version steps it up a notch, using “Super Sweet Corn” as it’s main ingredient. You should be sure to shake it up before drinking to get the delicious crunch of real individual corn kernels in every sip! Perfect as a quick, satiating snack - the idea may seem weird to westerners at first, but we highly recommend giving it a try on a cold winter day! You’d be surprised how truly satisfying it can be.
Spicy Consume Soup
If creamy corn soup just isn’t your thing, the Spicy Consommé Soup from Bistro BOSS is a non-dairy option that’s equally oishii in it’s own way! Although it doesn’t contain any meat, the soup itself has an extremely rich beef flavor, giving it a very characteristic identity. Thin slices of white onion, or tama negi （玉ねぎ）in Japanese round out the expereince, contributing to the overall wholesome feelings the soup provides.
BOSS describes it as “Spicy Consommé” - and while black pepper is certainly prominent, we wouldn’t exactly describe it as spicy ourselves - so even if spicy food typically scares you away, we’d still encourage you to try it if you’re craving something savory on the streets this winter!
So, what do you guys think? Does drinking soup from a vending machine seem crazy to you - or are you down to sip some consume on your way to Tokyo this winter?
Have you ever tried canned soups from Japan? Let us know in the comments below!