I might have not come to Japan yet. I also might have not eat many Japanese product. It can be counted by bare fingers but I’m satisfied with 90% of whole Japan product I consumed. Not only the quality of its product particularly, but also the packaging which I’d like to emphasize in this chain of random words. Hereby, I will give several shots for my favorite products.
1. Castella Cake
Castella （カステラ）is a popular Japanese sponge cake only made of sugar, flour, eggs, and honey (possibly honey). This cake also known as Japanese honey sponge cake and become Nagasaki specialty nowadays. The cake was brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. If you still wondering why the name itself is not so Japanese while people said it’s one of Japanese specialty, now the problem is solved! Yes The Portuguese inherited the cake tradition to Japanese. The name is derived from Portuguese Pao de Castella, meaning “bread from Castille”.
Several months ago, Prof. Osawa from Utsunomiya came to my lab in research collaboration purpose. He brought several boxes Castella from Nagasaki for lab staff. The taste is simple with honey basic test. When I bite, I tasted decent honey in outer and soft honey inside. The texture also very good. Brownish color outside, soft yellow inside with soft texture. Its simplicity taste and attractive appearance are the two reasons why I do like Castella so much. Due to my delight of Castella, I challenged to make DIY of it. I googled it and found that behind its simplicity basic ingredient, the instructions quite advance.
This is the outer side of this package. Wrapped with nice quality paper, or sort of office paper but thicker. I love the doodle and the figure which are scratched into the wrapping. The wrapping style itself just like how you wrap a box as a gift. My friend said that Japs will be careful when they open a box. I just agreed with him because my basic style open almost everything literally like them. So i opened it without any torn. Voila, I found a box with beautiful illustrated. Soft color with original distinctive style. After that day, i just ordained myself that Jap pop art is one of my favorite art.
The rest inside the box just as regular as any other product. A transparent plastic package the cake inside. The cake itself is wrapped by paper cake.
2. Matcha Crunch
I intended to meet my boss in order to discuss something crucial several weeks ago. In that hazy Monday morning, suddenly my friend hailed me, “Mr. Budi (my boss) brought something from Kyoto, have you take it?”. I know that Mr. Budi out of town for several weeks and last place he visited was Kyoto. I turned to lab table, there were only 4 pieces matcha crunch. I took 2 pieces. 1 for me, 1 for my husband. Deep in my heart I was grateful that finally Mr. Budi went back to campus. I waited to him until 4 PM but he didn’t show up his nose. Unlucky me, someone said that he was about going to Riau by that day. So why did there were Uji Matcha left?
Like usual, I am fascinated with pop art, so I took photo of it then posted it to Path. One of my friend, Prismita, replied, “The taste is amazingly good”. Oh boy, I was unlucky just took 2 pieces of Uji Matcha crunch. After break fasting at home, I and my husband tasted it. Absolutely, my friend didn’t lie at all.
Almost same like Castella cake above. The box is wrapped with good quality color paper. By that I know that many premium Jap product using paper wrap, not the illlustration pictured directly at the box. Not like Castella, the box inside just plain white box.
3. MEG Cheddar Cheese
I just found this cheese in regular department store, Hypermart. I decided to buy this because it has cheaper price than other common cheddar grated cheese, Kraft Brand. I personally prefer MEG Cheddar cheese rather than Kraft. It has smoother and creamer taste.
MEG Cheddar variant originally produced by Japan Company, MEGMILK Snow Brand Corporation. PT. Megmilk Snow Brand Indonesia is a joint venture company between MEGMILK Snow Brand Corporation (Japan), PT. Rodamas (Indonesia), and Itochu Corporation (Japan). Further, it distributs MEGMILK product throughout Indonesia.
Here’s the interesting thing, not like Kraft Cheddar Cheese, MEG Cheddar cheese has measurement portion. Common Kraft Cheese is wrapped by aluminium foil. MEG Chenddar Cheese is wrapped by transparent plastic and the measurement written on it. It will affect to how you serve the grated cheese. These measurement demand us indirectly to cut as needed. 30 gr between each solid dash, 15 gr between solid and breaking dash. I personally favor it. From now on I serve cheese and butter by cut it before and save the rest, not serve the whole product in dining table.