Thursday, March 10, 2005

Of Rice, Snow, Earthquakes and Breast Pudding

When I hear the word Niigata, one of the 43? Prefectures in Japan, I immediately think of their fragrant rice and the fluffy snow in the winter. People living outside of Japan probably know Niigata, if they know it at all, because of the devastating earthquake that occurred towards the end of last year. Little did I know that Niigata is also famous for its secret dessert: the breast pudding.

I only found out about this on our recent ski trip to Naeba, in Niigata prefecture. Before the trip, our friend Robbee mentioned that someone who went to Niigata brought him back a special omiyage (souvenir). When he told me what it was I thought for sure it was one of his jokes. I mean, we go to Niigata a couple of times a year, for skiing or hiking, but never did I once see a breast pudding. Could there really be something as vulgar as the name suggests?

After a satisfying crab dinner on our first day in Naeba, we took a inspectorial tour of the many souvenir shops in Naeba Prince Hotel. I saw sasadango (sticky red bean filled rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves); ibushi-daikon (a type of picked Japanese radish); and every type of red bean paste filled Japanese dessert you can think of bearing Naeba’s name; but no breast pudding. And suddenly I turned around and there it was:

Ok, so they call it bust pudding, but the Japanese really means breast, or boobs.

When you open the box, a cute pop-up Japanese girl in a pink bra (with the clasp conveniently in front!) greets you with a whisper, “Please eat gently.” Ewww, goosebumps!

For the final X-rated image, I invite you to click here (don’t want no pornography on my blog). Again, I say this: ONLY in Japan.


Hsin said...

Aye curamba!!!! Woah. That's OTT. Over the top. That's unbelievable. *shudder* Winced when I clicked on your link to see what the "bra" hid.

As you say, ONLY IN JAPAN.

Lynn said...

I wonder which marketing "genius" came up with the brilliant idea, AND got the green light to put it on the market!!

Karen said...

My goodness! I can only shake my head... tsk... tsk... I'd feel insulted if it was served to me, well, depends what mood I'm in. Or am I such a prude?

Lynn said...

Oh Karen, you just haven't gotten used to the Japanese sense of humor yet ;oP

Karen said...

Oh that's true Lynn. Besides, that's easy for me to say now because I'm so far from it. I'm sure I'll act 'appropriately' if I was there. :)

Stewart said...

Finally an omiyage that baby Tiernan will enjoy.

Lynn said...

There you go, Stewart. Maybe that's the driving force behind this product. Can't leave out the babies. They are, after all, Japan's future.