I didn’t set out to have all of my ‘weird food’ options for 2016 be from Japan.
I’ve done that kind of list before, you see, so I hoped for another direction this year.
I tried and tried. I checked out Scandinavia. I looked for Indonesian oddities. I even scoured the darker nooks and crannies of ‘Murrica for all of the strange, edible things we can put in our mouths this time of year.
But Japan has more than a corner on this market… They own the whole damn store. That said, here is the decidedly Island-Nation-Derived Blogtoberfest Weird Food List for 2016. Doumo arigatou.
1. I say potato, you say pumpkin spice
Here, Japan dips its collective toe into the western theme of pumpkin spice everything. Japanese McDonalds restaurants have added Pumpkin Spice French Fries to their Halloween menus, and they’re not even an entirely new creation, having been inspired by the ‘McChoco Potato’ side dish that already exists. While McChoco Potato is a basket of fries drizzled with white and milk chocolate sauce, the pumpkin spice fries (aka Halloween Choco Potato) are doused with milk chocolate and an as-of-yet-unidentified orange ‘pumpkin sauce.’ Thanks to the Angry Mancave podcast for the tip on this one.
2. Hipster Vampire Repellent
— Matt Townsend Show (@DrMattShow) September 26, 2016
In Japan, but not in the mood to go out? Settle in with a big ole bag of black garlic pepper Doritos. These are jet-black tortilla chips with a garlic dusting… actually doesn’t sound too bad, although I’m not clear on what is actually making the chip black. Props to ‘ritos for the vampire illustration on the packaging, though.
3. That’s Yamtastic
— tokyodotcom (@tokyo_dot_com) September 26, 2016
Eggs n’ Things sounds like a New England breakfast chain, but it’s actually a ‘Hawaiian Casual’ dining giant in Japan that specializes in pancakes. They’ve put a twist on their signature item this month by turning them purple. How, you ask? With sweet potato paste, of course. The ‘cakes are then nestled in a raspberry ‘sea of blood’ and served with a ‘Halloween Special Drink’ (can we get marketing on this name, please) – blue lemonade with a syringe filled with strawberry sauce.
4. Over My Dead Cheeseburger
— ロッテリア (@lotteria_pr) September 7, 2016
Not to be outdone, another Japanese chain — Lotteria — has introduced its own purple-sauced creation with the “Purple Magic Bacon Double Excellent Cheeseburger.” I’d say the real star of this meal is the wagging bacon-tongue protruding from the bun if it wasn’t for a similar burger making headlines a few years ago. So the spoils have to go to the packaging: a hopefully not-forboding coffin for a box, plus a smiling vampire wrapper. You can also order a shake with a photo-prop-ready straw on the side.
5. I scream, because your ice cream is glowing
— KRISTIN@KNERDCULTURE (@KNERDCULTURE) September 29, 2016
Fun Fact: Did you know Baskin Robbins is known simply as ’31 Flavors’ or ’31’ in Japan? I’m surprised North America hasn’t gone that route yet. But I’m not surprised that we have yet to fully embrace its newest flavor offering: glow-in-the-dark sundaes. Apparently, yes it really glows in the dark (though, why are we eating ice cream in the dark?) and tastes a little like a melon soda, which is also a thing. 31 also unveiled the “Extremely Hot Spicy Chocolate I Scream Sundae” this month, which is spiced with a habanero chocolate sauce hot enough to be served on the side in a separate packet.
Note- the feature photo of the bloated chocolate faces used for this post was actually borrowed from a Weird Valentines post.