Posted tagged ‘ebi’

Hello Kitty! Can Kiss My… Pt.3

March 1, 2008

I had the distinct pleasure of walking through Marunaka, a popular supermarket in my neck of the woods, with my daughters the other day. We were there buying the usual suspects: milk, diet coke, bread with nasty bean paste in it etc. you know, all the things a hybrid Japanese-American family needs. I wasn’t on the look-out for anything weird or out of the ordinary. The supermarkets rarely have the wonders the convenience stores offer. But these things seem to search me out. I was walking through the snack aisle, trying not to look at the tempting bags of potato chips, when a box on the shelf caught my eye. I had picked it up and put it into my basket without truly understanding what it was. I just knew that I had to get this product to you, my faithful readers, as soon as possible.



Ebi is Japanese for “shrimp”and the “cho” is a good example of how the Japanese love to abbreviate words into cute alternatives. The “cho” is short for chocolate. That’s right. Chocolate covered, shrimp flavored rice puffs. It’s not the idea of two distinct flavors combining to form one super taste. I enjoy chocolate-covered pretzels and celery with peanut butter. As a matter of fact, the same company that makes Ebittcho also makes Potatottcho, chocolate-covered potato chips. Those are even slightly appealing. Seafood and chocolate though, makes me queasy. Naturally I had to try a few in the interest of curiosity, and to inform my readers, so that they don’t have to experience this “delicacy” first-hand.

I put the first Ebittcho in my mouth and got the chocolaty taste first. Good, cheap chocolate. But what soon followed is hard to describe. It was as if the shrimp taste was a waft of flavor, not quite a bouquet, but definitely a presence. It didn’t center on my taste buds, but slowly made the rounds through my tonsils, up my nose, into the part of the brain that instantly recognizes when someone farts nearby, or when someone hasn’t showered. The chocolate was still there, hanging out, probably having a good time. But then some homeless guy sat down next to him and he realized there was nowhere to hide. I tried a few, because sometimes these sort of things need a little getting used to, but the third and the fourth went down just as yellow and sick as the first.

Ebittcho is a good example of the sort of product you might find on the shelves of a store at any given time, but soon disappear from existence, or so I thought. When I asked some of my Japanese friends if they had heard about Ebittcho, not only had they not heard of it, but they couldn’t believe that there was even a product out there like that in Japan. So I got to taste something Japanese-made that even the Japanese themselves wouldn’t touch. I feel very privileged in that fantastic sort of way where I pretend I am the President of the Universe and everyone is hanging off my every word. But this time, when the men from the funny farm come to take me away, I will have photographic evidence to prove I didn’t make Ebittcho up. Unfortunately, they might just put me away for trying this shit in the first place. Until the day I decide to write again…