Friday, October 19, 2012

Guess who's in Japan?

That's right: the parental units have landed! We'll be giving Dan and Kath the grand tour while school is on break for the week, so you may not hear from us for the next couple of days. Kurokawa, Aso, Nagasaki, and Kyoto, here we come!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Weirdness: Kumamoto Shiso Soda

Shiso is an aromatic herb popular in Japanese cuisine. The green variety is commonly eaten with sushi or sashimi, while the red variety is used for certain sweets. It's related to mint, and the taste is somewhere between mint and licorice, with maybe a dash of sweet basil. Though honestly, it's kind of silly to try to describe it - shiso really tastes like nothing else in the world.

I adore the stuff, but it makes Nana gag. So naturally, when she spotted a bottle of shiso soda at an expressway rest stop in Kumamoto, she had to get me one.
 It was awesome. It really tasted like red shiso!
The little bear, by the way, is Kumamon, the mascot for Kumamoto. It's a pun: the kuma in Kumamoto means "bear," and "mon" is an abbreviation of the loan word for "monster," as in Pokemon ("poket monster"). In fact, the kanji for Kumamoto literally translate to "source of bears," which is a sweet name for a city.