Sdtrk: ‘Memory seventy nine’ by The caretaker
Coming into the cinema late? Well congratulations, not only have you missed the previews, but also the first fifteen minutes of the film. Why not catch yourself up, lazy?
This, then, would be the Hello Kitty installment of the series, so, ah, I hope you like Hello Kitty. On the left is Hello Kitty nodo ame, and the long box on the right contains Hello Kitty Pretzel. Both are by Kabaya, who, as you’ll recall, are also the makers of Jyu-C Cider, detailed two posts ago. Maybe I should’ve subtitled this post Hello Kabaya.
As I’ve never encountered the term ‘nodo ame’ before, I had to look it up. The nearest equivalent in English to it would be ‘throat drops’; I know ame is rain, at the very least. So much in the manner of those graphics you see on cough drop adverts that focus on a red and painful sore throat, nodo ame would be the lozenge that showers it with wavy blue lines, bringing blessed relief. From what it seems, though, nodo ame doesn’t just describe medicinal candies; it also appears to describe a certain lozengy type of hard candy, which is about as nebulous and nonspecific as you’d think it is. ‘I’m going to prescribe something for you,’ says your doctor, after he confirms that you have a sore throat. ‘It’s nodo ame. It doesn’t contain any medicine in it at all, but it’s a lot like throat drops. So, ah, I hope you like Hello Kitty.’ He dumps a fistful of loose, semi-translucent heart-shaped candies in your hand and nods affirmatively. ‘That’ll be $175. Please pay the receptionist.’
The Hello Kitty nodo ame are indeed semi-translucent heart-shaped sweets, in four flavours: red for apple, purple for grape, lemon is yellow, and green for muscat, which I’m told is a melon. Now when I hear the word ‘muscat’, I think of Angelo Muscat, better known as the Butler in the ahead-of-its-time telly series, The Prisoner, but that’s me. I may not know my fruits and vegetables, but you can be damned sure I’m on top of my Sixties-era surrealist science fiction British television shows!
The nodo ame taste pretty much as you’d expect them to, so no surprises there.
One of Japan’s most famous snack exports would be Pocky, the biscuit stick coated in chocolate, which is now pretty much an internationally-known food. Glico, the company that manufactures Pocky, also makes Pretz, a snack that, as you’d probably sussed due to the name, is a flavoured pretzel in stick form. As Glico most famously staked their claim to stick-shaped pretzel snacks, everyone else that makes snacks of that kind is considered second best or also-rans, which leaves us with Kabaya’s Hello Kitty Pretzel. Now I’m no pretzel stick connoisseur — I’ve never had Pretz, and I can count the number of boxes of Pocky I’ve eaten in my life on one hand — but I’d wager that the only thing that is preventing Kabaya’s take on boxed pretzels from sliding headlong into obscurity is the Hello Kitty branding. I imagine the employees at the pretzel snack division of Kabaya begin each workday with a Two Minutes Hate session, where everyone is encouraged to scream their rage and shake their fists at a picture of the Glico running man mascot.
Can you describe the pretzel sticks in a paragraph or less, please? you ask. Sure! Inside the box, you get +/- fifteen pretzel sticks covered in a pink frosting. As I’m not really keen on strawberry, they didn’t do anything for me, but they taste pretty much how you’d expect them to. See, wasn’t that easy?
Overall: in all honesty, these two were lowest on the list of the birthday care package prezzie that Jill sent me. (Sorry, Jill.) They just didn’t excite me on any genuine level, and I don’t think I’d ever purchase either of them of my own accord. However, as this post covers the worst, that means the best selections get lauded in the final installment. What made the cut? Which snacks are preferred? Whose cuisine will reign supreme??
NEXT UP: the End of All Food