Calbee teams with gourmet French chain for uni and dried roe potato chip flavor

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RocketNews 24:

Calbee and the casual-gourmet French chain Ore no French will release an “Uni and Dried Roe Kyokujo Cream Saucepotato chip flavor on March 21.

The “Ore no” series of restaurants boasts a unique concept: By doing away with all the niceties of typical gourmet restaurants, such as spacious dining areas, unfailingly polite and classically trained servers, and chairs, the chain serves up gourmet meals devised or prepared by renowned chefs at just a fraction of the price you’d typically expect to pay.

It’s this exact dynamic of delicious and kind of crusty that sort of makes “Ore no French” — the company’s French fusion lineup of restaurants — and Calbee, the Japanese potato chip maker, a match made in heaven. And in fact, the two entities have just announced their third release in a collaborative potato chip series, this time introducing “Uni and Dried Roe Kyokujo Cream Sauce” potato chips due to hit shelves on March 21.

The flavor was specially conceived by the head chef of the Kagurazaka area location of Ore no French, Yousuke Yamazaki, and contains real powdered uni and mullet roe.

 

There’s a new line of Sriracha-infused snacks

Mini bakeable Kit Kats return to Japan — this time in cheesecake flavor!

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RocketNews 24:

Some of our readers are undoubtedly aware that we here at RocketNews24 are quite fond of Kit Kats. And while we’re used to seeing the popular chocolate snack in an array of interesting flavors, we have to say we were genuinely intrigued when we heard about “bakeable” Kit Kats last year, as were many other Kit Kat fans across Japan, judging from the fact that the unique sweet attracted enough attention to be turned into pizzas.  Now, the bakeable Kit Kats have returned, and in a new flavor to boot! Of course, we weren’t about to be kept away from such sweetness.  Join us as we try the new Bake ‘N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Cheesecake Flavor (Kit Kat Mini Yaite Oishi Cheesecake Aji)!

When we heard that a new version of the bakeable Kit Kats had come out this week, we naturally rushed to the local supermarket in search of the snack.

▼ Sure enough, we found the new Kit Kats being sold for 256 yen (US$2.15) for a bag containing 13 mini pieces.

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▼ Last year’s bakeable Kit Kats were in a custard pudding flavor, and this time, as it says on the package, it’s cheesecake!  The illustration of the toaster oven also makes it clear that these Kit Kats are meant to be baked.

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▼ Toasting the Kit Kats should turn them golden brown like this:

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▼ On the back of the package, there were instructions on how to bake the Kit Kats.

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▼ You place the Kit Kats on the toaster tray after covering it with aluminum foil …

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▼ … and turn the toaster on to heat for two to two and a half minutes. Once the surface starts to turn brown, the Kit Kats apparently can get burned quite quickly, so you’ll need to be careful not to heat it for too long.

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▼ We opened the bag …

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▼ … and the mini Kit Kats came individually wrapped in cute green and white checkered packages.

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▼ The Kit Kat looks like just regular white chocolate before it’s toasted.

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▼ We turned on the heat and waited …

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▼ … and they were done in just minutes!

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▼ Beautiful! Now we were ready to taste them.

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So, now that the Kit Kats were toasted, how did they taste? They had a delightful texture, crispy and light, and although we maybe could taste the chocolate more than the cream cheese, the flavor was definitely enjoyable. And the sweet smell of warm toasted chocolate and cheese was indeed wonderful enough to make our mouth water even before tasting the actual treat.

Nestle Japan had actually previously sold a baked type cream cheese Kit Kat from the Kit Kat Chocolatory shop, which we tasted last year along with the pudding flavored bakeable Kit Kats. Having tried both, we thought that last year’s Chocolatory cream cheese Kit Kats had more of a cheese flavor, while these new cheesecake flavor bakeable Kit Kats seemed to be sweeter, and perhaps closer to how you might expect a typical “chocolate” snack to taste.

That doesn’t change the fact that we think the new Kit Kats still make a highly tasty treat. Plus, their small size makes them very convenient to eat as a quick snack. There’s apparently also a smaller package containing just three of the mini Kit Kats available exclusively at convenience stores, so if you’re in Japan this spring, you may very well come across this newest offering from Nestle Japan, in which case we wish you sweet and happy toasting!

KFC potato chips return to Japan this spring

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RocketNews 24:

Last year, something beautiful came to Japan. It was only here for a short while, but in that time, it left a deep impression on many people. And while we were sad to see it go, it’s time to dry our tears, because this spring, it’s coming back again!

So, all excited for cherry blossom season? That’s great, but what we’re actually talking about right here are Kentucky Fried Chicken-flavor potato chips.

Once again, Japanese snack company Calbee is teaming up with the world’s most famous fast food fried chicken outfit. Whereas last year’s version was billed as “Colonel’s Crispy-flavor,” this new batch of fried chicken-inspired fried potato slices emulates the taste of KFC Japan’s honenashi Kentucky paripari umashio, or Boneless Kentucky Crunchy Delicious Salt flavor.

We’re a little puzzled by the “Boneless” part of the product name, since we don’t recall any bone-like flavors in the KFC chips we tried last year. In more specific terms, Calbee says the chips draw out the natural deliciousness of chicken with a simple mixture of salt and pepper, so you can be assured that they make use of at least those two of Colonel Sanders’ 11 herbs and spices.

In a rarity for Japanese snack foods, Calbee is leaving pricing up to individual retailers. The larger, 83-gram bags are available exclusively at Japanese convenience storesstarting March 2. A smaller 58-gram bag will go on sale March 16, and both packages will include a coupon for a discount on an order of Boneless Kentucky Crunchy Delicious Salt chicken at KFC locations in Japan, in case munching on the chips has you craving the real deal.

Incredibly clever loaf-of-bread-turned-lunch-box is truly the best thing since sliced bread

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RocketNews 24:

Earlier this week, Twitter user Near 13 had what she described as an Otsukare Party, a casual celebration with coworkers or classmates to mark the end of a project. For the meal, each member of the group brought something to eat or drink, and given the wide variety of pre-made food available in Japan, it’s likely most of the participants stopped by the supermarket on the way to the party.

One of Near 13’s friends, though, brought a homemade dish. Although semantically, we’re not sure if you can use the word “dish” to describe a whole loaf of bread, which is what it looked like the friend was offering to share.

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But hey, home-baked bread is probably tastier than the store-bought variety, right? Still, with 10 diners to split the loaf between, it might have been considerate to slice it ahead of time, don’t you think?

Actually, Near 13’s friend did make exactly one lengthy cut along the top edge of the loaf. If she’d done anymore, though, it would have ruined the surprise when she removed the crust to reveal this:

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It turns out the entire loaf was packed with sandwiches made from the bread that had been hollowed out of it. Looking inside, we can see Japanese standbys such as ham and egg sandwiches, plus others with what appear to be cucumbers, smoked salmon, and even strawberries and cream (the last being a popular item in Japanese convenience stores).

Coffee Jelly: The Japanese treat that’s surprisingly easy to make

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RocketNews 24:

Although coffee and gelatin aren’t typically associated with Japanese cuisine, the popular dessert called “coffee jelly” was actually created in Japan during the Taisho period (That’s over 100 years ago!). As you might expect, the dessert consists of gelatin that has been flavored with black coffee and sugar.

Curious culinarians abroad are in luck! The dog/human chef duo over at YouTube channel Cooking with Dog show us just how easy it is to make this delicious Japanese treat at home.

First-time indulgers of coffee jelly may be surprised by the consistency of this dessert that tastes like a fresh cup of coffee. But don’t let that throw you off! Coffee jelly is a wonderful dessert, especially perfect for summer, but great any time of the year. All you’ll need is fresh coffee beans, sugar, gelatin powder, whipping cream, and some cocoa powder to sprinkle on top. We’ll let Francis the dog and his cooking partner take it from here:

YouTube commenters who have tried the recipe say it’s especially delightful with sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon or vanilla ice cream in place of whipped cream. You don’t even really need to dress it up at all; eating coffee jelly all by itself is just as good!