[The American Years]

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Japanese (products) are Coming!

I once bemoaned the lack of unsweetened green tea available for purchase in the US. No more. I've been educated that it's around and easy to find. Mostly at Target.

There are other welcome Japanese products which have made their way into our hearts and homes. The "Washlet" toilet seat by Toto is widely available. Sure it costs a little more, but my keister is worth it. (No, I don't have one yet, but I'm saving my pennies.)

Newest welcome find is Kagome Juice. It's fruit and veggie juice blended together, with (get this) no sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup. V8 splash had the idea, sort of, but they couldn't resist putting in sugar. Kagome has the true essence. Just fruits and veggies, nothing else. I was very happy to find it at my local store.

Kathleen will kid me because I went a long time in Japan not drinking the Kagome, because I didn't like the green one. I do like the purple and orange ones, however. Haven't seen the green one in the states. Maybe my aversion was borne out.

Now the American yogurt industry needs to take a lesson from the Japanese. How about plain yogurt with just fruit mixed in, and no sugar. So simple and brilliant! The US yogurt people have still not caught on that fat free, or low fat or adding Splenda or Sucralose is not helping anyone. Just yogurt with just fruit. Keeping a product simple makes it a specialty or boutique item. C'mon Dannon and Yoplait! (Hmmm. They're French. Figures.)

Japanese yogurts are often advertised to be Bulgarian style, whatever that means. Yogurt is treated like health food. There are versions with fancy and exotic bacteria, which are supposed to do something to you. One of the above, "Space Yogurt" even boasts that its bacteria spent time in space. How's that for exotic bacteria. ("Exotic Bacteria" will be the name of my next band.)

For all my praise of Japanese yogurt, I have to caution you about the drinkable kind. It's not for kids.

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