Living in Japan we have discovered Asahi Food Balance Up Cream biscuit sandwiches that resemble the flavors of Poptarts in America. I like them so much, I decided to write a post about the different flavors and what I believe they taste like. They come in a package with two separately sealed packages with two small puffed cream filled granola biscuit sandwiches. They are probably 1″ x 2″ x.25″ big. Asahi Food sells just the granola as well, but Japan really seems to like cream puffed foods. Even peanut butter here (aside from a jar of Skippy peanut butter) is actually just really whipped peanut cream, it is kind of gross especially if you have grown to love the dense texture and flavor of peanut butter. Anyways, I’ve seen the Poptart like granola sandwiches in 10 different flavors, but I keep on finding new flavors. So far I’ve seen: a Fruits and Granola, Cream Cheese, Maple Nuts & Granola, Blueberry, Chocolate, Strawberry, Mocha, ココナッツアーモンド (Coconut Almond), Sesame & Soybeans and Granola, and Brown Rice Bran Sweet Potato flavored biscuit sandwiches.
The Fruits and Granola Japanese sandwich snack tastes like a lemon cream sandwich cookie.
The Cream Cheese flavored Japanese granola cracker puffed creme sandwiches taste like cheese sandwich crackers.
The Japanese Maple Nuts & Granola snack tastes similar to the Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts.
The blueberry creme puffed granola cracker sandwich tastes like a blueberry flavored Poptart, simple as that.
The Chocolate Asahi Food Balance Up Cream granola biscuit sandwiches are similar to double fudge Pop Tarts.
The strawberry flavored, pink colored cream puff Asahi Foods granola sandwich is very popular. So popular that most stores can’t keep it in stock and it is usually found at very popular locations. I found some at a medicine store located in the Yoshizuka station. This reminds me of the strawberry milkshake pop tart ^_^ and not because it is meant to be like a pop tart because if it reminded me of ANYTHING else, I would say that instead, but it just so happens that it reminds me of the strawberry pop tart.
The Mocha flavored biscuit sandwiches were actually quite flavorless in my opinion. I couldn’t quite pick up on anything it could have tasted like because I couldn’t really pick up on any flavor at all ^_^ Could be a good thing? ^_^
The ココナッツアーモンド (Coconut Almond) is really good as long as you like the taste and flavor of coconut. It reminds me of something, it truely does, I just can’t quite pin it down exactly at the moment.
While at the medicine shop at Yoshizuka station, I also saw the sesame & soybeans flavor and the sweet potato flavored asahi snacks which I have never seen anywhere else before. The sweet potato flavored snack actually kind of tasted like Cracker Jack caramel popcorn, but it also had somewhat a cheese cracker sandwich flavor as well.
And the sesame & soybean-flavored granola sandwich snack which sounds the worst, actually is my favorite ^_^ it tastes like a peanut butter cracker sandwich snack ^_^ it tastes more like peanut butter than the nasty puffed peanut butter sandwich I tried, and it tastes more like peanut butter than if they used the nasty peanut cream shit.
Just arrived in Japan and decided I’d give the dreaded happoshu beer a try. I’ve had over 1,500 different types of beers (rough estimate) over the last 10 years, so when I heard of happoshu beer I decided I’d be best to stay away. BUT…. being in Japan and being an advocate of beer I guess the curiosity in me took over.
Happoshu beer is beer that is under a certain percentage of malt. If it goes over say 67% then it goes into a new tier. The difference in price for certain happoshu to “draft” or “Nama” beer is about $3 for a 16 ounce can or $2.50 for a 12 ounce can, but a happoshu that is under a certain malt percentage is about $0.65 cents to $0.90 for a 12 ounce or $1.20 for 16 ounce can.
There is still some cheaper beers out there I’ll try next but this time, I was mildly dis-proven about how bad happoshu is and how other people hype it up…. maybe I’m just getting the decent stuff?
This craze called Habushu ハブ酒 is flooding across Japan, China, Philippines and South Korea like wildfire. This oddity of a drink originates from Okinawa, and the fellow inside the bottle here on the left is a Trimeresurus flavoviridus, or simply a pit viper snake, which is also pretty similar to the western rattlesnake.
These snakes are not to be trifled with, a bite from one of these guys has the potential to kill!
This oddity is first mixed with honey and herbs, which is the reason it has its yellow tint. Then one these magnificent reptilian beasts are lowered into the liquid so they can look their most dashingly self for the rest of time, that is if it remains in the bottle. But of course, there are many ways to get them there.
Some brewers of habushu at times take the snake out before selling it (people buying habushu online mostly), but some, daring brewers leave the little buddy inside the bottle for all to see. But we’ll have to go the extra mile and admit, some of these creatures are not dead when they arrive in their capsule. Some brewers will submerge the snake in the liquor and seal the bottle, this way inebriating the snake while at the same time drowning him.
Some brewers know the unique alchemy to creating the vicious striking viper in a bottle. What’s required? Sticking our little guy in an ice locker until it blacks out and kind of goes into a hibernation, then the snake is gutted like a fish and bled out, then it will be sewn back up. Once our friend the pit viper wakes up to realize his kidneys have been ganked he’ll immediately get super pissed, strike out but die shortly afterward, leaving him in a state of constant rage as you can see here on the right.
Habu Sake is it Poisonous?
The Brewers will then put the body of the snake in an ethanol tub for a month or more to make sure its preserved.
From this point forward the Brewers will then take the pit viper and stick it in a 60% alcohol mix for a little over a month, then it will be added to an awamori combination (herbs and honey). It is said that by removing the intestines of the snake help to avoid a very unpleasant smell that happens when it’s left inside the snake.
Some of the major brewers of this liquid oddity end up using around 5,000 pit viper snakes per year. And for those concerned about the poison, well the alcohol helps the venom to become inert by dissolving it making it safe.
There are many different types of this kind of viper wine:
This radical drink is nothing new to Asian countries, although it is catching fire once again through major populaces. It’s a very ancient alcoholic beverage and is believed to have medicinal traits.
Habu sake side effects:
Many say it has the most effect on male libido. The pit viper snake can get it on for over 24 hours, which has made it a drink of those with sexual dysfunction. Does it work? Of course, it does, why wouldn’t it?
Do I have proof? Absolutely not. But until then, let’s just pretend for those courageous souls out there that do drink this stuff, that all the superstitions about habusake are real!
If I happen ever to get a chance to try some of this snake wine, then I’ll be sure to update you and let you know if I become a sexual god! So for those with the courage to do it, you can purchase snake wine, but many places in the world will not let you buy habushu sake with the snake still in the bottle (like the USA). So be sure to check your local rules (customs) to see if you can import some viciously looking snake sake from online!
I just learned about a gnarly drink called BABY MOUSE WINE from China. I’ll stick with my Habushu. Also, I did happen to get some concentrate of habushu from a friend that came back from Okinawa. I didn’t like it, it tasted like really bad cough medicine. I still want to try the sake straight from the bottle with the snake in it and NOT concentrated! Muri DESU!
Want to bring snake wine or
habu sake from Asia into the U.S.?
Can I bring back snake wine or habu sake from Asia?
While all imports of alcoholic beverages are subject to certain restrictions, snake wine is also subject to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulations.
The main concern for bringing snake wine into the U.S. when a snake used in the wine that are endangered species, and therefore inadmissible.
The wine would have to be inspected by an FWS specialist to determine if the snake was an endangered species. If a FWS inspector is not available, the wine would be detained until it can be inspected, and you would be responsible for making arrangements for its forward shipment if the snake were not an endangered species.
For more information, please contact the Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD.
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