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Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Other J-Pop

I'll leave Japan's awesome pop music scene for another time, this is about Japanese soda.

I included the $20 bill in the first photo because I had looked for Ramune soda at the Asian market before and looked right past it. I'd bought some Ramune flavored candy there and was curious to try the soda it was based on.

The pictures I'd seen online, well, I guess Japanese people aren't as big as Americans and I had the impression I was looking for something more the size of a pint Coke bottle. It's a very distinctive bottle, but it's only a 6.7 ounce serving. I guess the Japanese haven't gone completely insane on the serving sizes of sugary beverages.

The bottle is fascinating. It's got a marble stopper with a pinched neck and a slot for holding the marble out of the way while you pour the soda.

I gather that the distinctive bottle is associated with summer over there in much the same way Coca-Cola has insinuated its trademark feminine bottle shape in the States.

I love finding stuff like this, things that are absolutely everyday for tens of millions of people that most Americans have never even heard of. In the age of globalization and the internet, it sometimes seems like we've managed to do worldwide, through commerce, what the Chinese government has done to Tibet. And I find homogeneity dull.

You take the plastic tool out of the cap (it's perforated so this is quite easy), then push the marble down into the neck with it. Hold it for a sec while it settles, then decant and drink up.

The 'original' flavor has been described as lemon-lime, but it doesn't taste like Sprite or 7-up. In fact, it doesn't taste like any American soda I can think of. It is a citrus-ish fruity flavor, but you'll have to try it for yourself. The other bottle I got was lychee flavor, another fairly unique fruit flavor, like a blend of melon and berry flavors, with some floral aromatics.

Molly didn't like them, but she's a big fan of Sprite and I think it pissed her off when it didn't taste like her expectations.

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