Category Archives: Snacks

Mail Order Food

It all started with a pear. A Royal Riviera Pear from Harry & David to be exact. My college roommate received a gift basket from his parents and had the pears in the fridge. During that semester he and another one of my roommates were in the semester from hell in our business school, where each of our teams had to write a business plan. The week before the business plan is due, we didn’t have any classes, just a single deadline to meet with a completed assignment. After the final stretch, staying up for 24+ hours with no food, we all returned to our room and recapped the ordeal.

Pears So Juicy, You’ll Need a Spoon

As we looked into the bare fridge, the pears were offered and gladly accepted. As we took our first bites, juices literally gushed down our hands as we bent forward to avoid the mess. We eventually hovered over the sink and devour the sweet nourishment. I told a few of my friends and family about the pear epiphany, and the next semester my sister sent me a similar gift basket for my birthday from Harry & David though not with the same pears, since it was no longer in season. I did however, get to try a few other snacks including the moose munch, shortbread cookies, truffles, and candy covered bing cherries.

Once I graduated and began working at marketing agencies, I was able to sample some additional treats from our vendors come the holidays. Chocolate covered pretzels, peanuts clusters, jelly beans, cookies, and popcorn tins all made appearances. Katie even sent me two live lobsters, bib and claw crackers included, one year for Christmas. Yesterday, I ended up staying in the office a bit late and had some leftover treats for dinner. Peanut clusters, caramel popcorn, and rice crackers were on the menu. Protein, vegetable, carbs, and dessert were taken care of!

Receiving food in the mail is a great gesture as it allows for sharing and sampling of a variety of treats. However, it tends to be pricey so definitely trying to make friends that get care packages from their parents. Or you can always work at an agency.

Snacks from Foreign Shores: Japan

Growing up, my family frequented Chinese grocery stores frequently from the two located near my house, a plethora in Flushing, NY where my grandparents lived and even driving close to a hour within NJ just to buy Asian vegetables, fruits, and pantry items. Early on, my sister and I caught on to the snack isle and became connoisseurs in the finest Japanese snacks like chocolate filled koala biscuits, the lesser chocolate filled panda biscuits, Pocky (apparently pronounced “Poke-e” and not “Pock e”), and mushroom crackers with a chocolate top.

Since our early years, we have noticed that these items became more and more available in American stores such as near the anime section at Suncoast video in a mall or World Market. Now, I have had the privilege of working with someone who grew up in Japan, and have been introduced to a new more traditional goody from across the pond. Upon her return from a trip to Tokyo, I was presented with this little wrapped package.

Presentation Points

It includes a little wrapped tin pan with a plastic cover the holds in the bean (soy?) powder. On top of the powder is a little angular bottle filled with a sweet (brown sugar?) syrup. Upon pouring the syrup over the powder, use the stick to dig up two pieces of mochi at the bottom of the pan. This is where the wrapping paper comes in handy as you will definitely face powder spillage. The gooey mixture as a result from the syrup and powder taste of a squishy piece of mochi with hints of molasses which is why I thought the bottled syrup was brown sugar.

How Organized

Brown Sugar Syrup

According the my co-workers, eating mochi or maybe these mochi snacks were the leading cause of death in Japan among elder citizens during New Years Eve and New Years as it is eaten as a symbol of prosperity or some other value that the Japanese strive for. I can agree that the texture can be a choking hazard, but this notice mochi snack eaten couldn’t be taken down.

It’s in the Wrist

In Japan, mochi is traditionally eaten as a snack that is filled with bean paste and not ice cream (darn). I’ve always loved the mochi in the freezer section of the Asian grocery store. If you are by an Asian grocery store, please buy yourself a box and share.