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Pxl 20210118 050207369

YBC Noir Cocoa Cookies: These are the Japanese equivalent of Oreo cookies, which I tend to have about once a year at the MIT Mystery Hunt competition. Since Mystery Hunt was completely remote this year, I wasn't able to partake in the normal consumption of college-dorm junk food normally shared in person to fuel late-night puzzling, but I still wanted to capture the spirit, which led me to purchase this snack. The YBC snack packs are ubiquitous and can be found at basically all convenience and grocery stores. Ov... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended cookies japanese coop ybc noir cocoa 3.5
Pxl 20201225 015444422

Le Cafe de Joel Robuchon Mediterranean Fougasse: Purchased at the Joel Robuchon cafe in Shinjuku, this twisted fougasse bread was deliciously savory, combining many flavors that I don't run into often here, including sundried tomatoes, olives, lemon, and anchovies. Those flavors could easily come off as salty but wasn't in this instance: it was impressively well balanced and made me really miss mediterranean food I could easily get in the states like hummus or falafel. The bread itself had a satisfying crust that was just chewy enough. 4.0/5.0

recommended tokyo shinjuku robuchon bakery lecafedejoelrobuchon mediterranean fougasse 4.0
Pxl 20210111 105813302

Koikeya Mozzarella and lemon potato chips: In theory, this unexpected mozzarella and lemon combination seems like it would be a bit odd, but it's actually surprisingly good, like a more creamy and mild sour cream and onion flavor with a lemon kick. The acidic lemon seasoning is the first taste you get, but the chips have a milky and tangy finish, almost like a sour yogurt. I'm generally not a big fan of the cheese flavored snacks I've had here in Japan, but this is definitely an exception. Purchased at Lawson 100. 4.0/5.0

lawson japanese recommended cheese potatochips koikeya mozzarella lemon potato chips 4.0
Pxl 20210108 064332036

Maruka Setouchi Lemon Flavored Ika-Ten: I found this bag in the dried squid / bar snack section of my local supermarket and was drawn to the colorful packaging. It contains ika-ten, dried squid that's battered and fried; in this case, it's coated with a strong lemon powder that's extremely addicting. I haven't come across a snack that is this tangy and acidic before, even though I've had a good number of citrus snacks by now. It balances the deep savory and salty flavor of the fried squid, which is very crispy rather than the u... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended squid japanese coop maruka setouchi lemon flavored ika-ten 4.0
Pxl 20210106 102020085

Kit Kat Okinawa Beni Imo KitKat: There are a few different form factors for KitKats here in Japan beyond the breakable sticks, along with a never-ending stream of seasonal flavors. This special edition KitKat came in a resealable pouch with a flavor inspired by Japanese Beni Imo sweet potato from Okinawa. I haven't had the chance to try it, but apparently there is a very famous Beni Imo tart featuring a swirling mound of sweet potato creme (pictured on the packaging). The Kit Kats come in bite-sized cubes and have a thic... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended japanese kitkat okinawa beni imo 3.5
Pxl 20210101 061242814

Frito Lay Takoyaki Balls: I was both surprised and not surprised to find that Frito Lay has a presence in the snack aisles of Japan; I've seen Lay's potato chips and Cheetos corn snacks, but these Japan-specific takoyaki corn puffs were an exciting find. The corn puff balls are about the same size as cheese puffs in the US, and they're flavored with Otafuku Takoyaki sauce, which is a staple brand here for various condiments. Traditionally, takoyaki are battered octopus balls that are topped with a thick brown sauce... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended junkfood japanese queensisetan fritolay takoyaki balls 4.0