Japan is king when it comes to liking corn and British royalty need only gaze eastward to see a real corn nation. If you're harboring any kernels of doubt, check out these 8 weird Japanese corn snacks, foods & drinks and prepare to be a maized!
8) Butter-Grilled Corn Sushi
Vegetarian sushi? It's not unheard of – Kappamaki features fresh cucumber. Butter-Grilled Corn Sushi, on the other hand, seems like something a small sushi restaurant would invent in order to get publicity and drum up some business.
Wondering how the chef gets the slab of corn kernels to stay together sans cob? So are we, friends, so are we. (weird Japanese corn snack food image via Kaiten-Sushi)
7) Brothers Corn Ice Cream
It's likely your favorite ice cream is sweetened with corn syrup but any allusions to corn itself are buried in the list of ingredients. Not so in Japan, where corn is the main ingredient assuming Corn Ice Cream is your fave frozen food.
Brothers artfully (or cruelly, we're not sure) gently places three individual corn kernels on top of their ice cream just before affixing the lid, so that's the first thing you'll see when cracking open a tub. Yuk... er, Yum! (weird Japanese corn snack food image via Funky Berry)
6) Hokkaido Toasted Corn Kit Kat
As strange as a corn-flavored Kit Kat chocolate bar might sound, it pales in comparison to some of the other more offbeat Kit Kats dreamed (or nightmared) up by Nestle Japan. Miso Kit Kat and Potato Kit Kat come to mind if you're in a particularly bad state of mind.
This Hokkaido Toasted Corn Kit Kat “kit”, for want of a better word, contains 5 individually wrapped bars allowing you to share the love. Kind of corny, isn't it? (weird Japanese corn snack food image via EkiBlog)
5) Ramune Corn Soup Soda
It's a soda, it's a soup, it's a hot mess in a bottle if truth be told. Ramune, the traditional soda pop of Japan, has experimented with a number of decidedly offbeat flavors of late – Curry and Wasabi to name a couple. Formulating a soup-flavored soda and foisting it an innocent public seems like something Jones Soda would do, however.
Since you're not likely to try this cringe-worthy concoction unless you're triple-dog-dared to, we can thank Canadian expat and Japanese language wiz Micaela Braithwaite for taking one for the team. “This is weird, it doesn't smell like corn, it smells like butter.” Does it get any better? Check out Micaela's amusing Ramune video taste test-fest and find out for yourself. (weird Japanese corn snack food image via Micaela Braithwaite)
4) Snowbell Crispy Corn Chocolate
Snowbell Crispy Corn Chocolate is one of those snacks seemingly created for the tourist trade. Tired of hearing “My parents went to Hokkaido and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”? Present the ungrateful little wretches with Crispy Corn Chocolate instead!
This regional delicacy (we use the term loosely) seems to be the red-headed stepchild of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats, without the red hair (hopefully) and with more white chocolate. If those are treats, these must be the tricks. (weird Japanese corn snack food image via Snowbell)
3) Gari-Gari Kun Corn Potage Popsicles
“OK, what have we got here... frozen corn chowder on a stick? Approved, next!” One imagines that's how things went at a product planning meeting at the Akagi Nyugyo ice cream company where Gari-Gari Kun popsicles are conceived, designed and produced. As weird as it sounds to us, it works: Gari-Gari Kun Corn Potage “ice candy” is a huge hit and retailers can't keep the things in stock.
In fact, we can lay the blame for Japan's current Corn Potage Boom directly at the chilly feet of Akagi Nyugyo. Other companies, KFC in particular, took note and rushed out products that make frozen corn soup on a stick seem practically normal. (weird Japanese corn snack food image via Fushikian15301578)
2) Sakuma Sweet Corn + Soy Sauce Drops
Sakuma Drops are hard candies packaged in a canteen-like tins and they've been popular since the Second World War, when we're guessing folks dumped out the candies and used the tins as actual canteens.
How Sakuma Drops managed to survive roughly 75 years in the rough & tumble, take-no-prisoners world of Japanese confections is a mystery wrapped in an enigma packed in a canteen-like tin. Maybe the answer is a lack of competition: in addition to Yaki Toukibi Sweet Corn and Soy Sauce (above), Sakuma Drops come in other “unique” flavors such as Sasebo Burger, Buttered Potato, Cheese Fondue, Ikura-Don (Salmon eggs on rice) and Beer. You win, Japan, our taste buds surrender. (weird Japanese corn snack food image via KidCrave)
1) KFC Deep-Fried Corn Soup
Deep fried soup? It might seem like we're at the Kansas State Fair but we're not, Toto, we're in Japan where folks are surprisingly NOT obese. KFC Japan is on a mission to change that by rolling out these limited edition, fritter-like, er, fritters stuffed with congealed cream of corn soup.
“We bread the corn potage and cook it to a crisp,” explains KFC Japan, smugly smiling as if they just re-invented the wheel. Listen, dudes, I cook corn soup to a crisp more often then you'd like to think and I don't go around putting price tags on the results. Wait a sec, maybe KFC Japan's got something here. (weird Japanese corn snack food images via Ezonogishigishi)
Now that your gag reflex has been flexed and re-flexed, get on out there and get in on the Japanese corn snack bandwagon before it leaves town... presumably riddled with bullet holes, on fire and popping like there's no tomorrow.
You'd best grin and bear it, though, since when it comes to being corny you just can't beat corn. (weird Japanese corn snack food image at top via Imagine & Think! and above via Takeritakeru)