Sunday, August 21, 2011

Goodies from Shizuoka Part II

My sister used to be a JET in Shizuoka, which is only about a 2.5 hours by express train or 1 hour by Shinkansen away. So we visited each other back and forth more often than not. Each time we visited, she would have goodies for us, knowing I would take pictures of them and post on this blog ^.^ These are the last of them, now that she has left with promises to visit sometimes in the future while hubby and I are still in Japan.

In my previous Goodies from Shizuoka post, I mentioned the omiyage industry in Japan and it mostly comes in the form of food and snacks with whatever ingredients that the region is "famous" for. Below are a few more for Shizuoka, though mostly in the form of their baked sweet pies in various flavors.

Sakura Ebi Senbei

Sakura ebi is the tiny translucent pink shrimps that are mostly...tasteless. But hey, they're yummy in rice crackers though!

And there are these Unagi Pies, yes, freshwater eel cookies. I've actually been eating these since before I moved to Japan, thanks to my sister who had been sending them to me, at first as a semi gag gift, then I got addicted to them.

They take the unagi and make it into a fine powder, then bake it into these sweet and buttery flaky cookies, or pies as they call it. See where the semi gag gift component come from? ^.^

But don't worry, you can't really taste the unagi in these cookies. They're just all around flaky, buttery, and yummy cookies with sugar sprinkled on top.

There's also Brandy flavored Unagi Pies, which my sister's friend says tastes more like Brandy cookies. But I ate them and don't find them tasting much like anything other than...cookies. Also, this particular box of Brandy Unagi Pies also exemplifies one of my top pet peeves about Japan as detailed in my running Japan How I Loathe Thee series - the fact that they like to triple and quadruple wrap every freakin' thing!!! As you can see, this box is first wrapped in cellophane.

Then the paper box itself.

Inside the box is the cookies, or so you would think.

But nope, the cookies are individually wrapped, and then wrapped again in yet another layer of cellophane! Arghhh!!! It drives me absolutely crazy! Not only it's wasteful (and harmful to the environment when all the plastic trash is later incinerated), it really serves no purpose other than keeping me from my cookies!

And of course there has to be Sakura Ebi Pies too!

Although I can tell you that these are nowhere as good. Actually, I didn't like these at all. These shrimps are too strongly...seasoned to belong in a sweet cookie, because all I could taste was the shrimp!

I'm all about trying new and creative foods, but this was just...wrong.

And these are my absolute favorite out of all the flavors of pies the Goma Unagi Pie, with sesame seeds sprinkled throughout! It was such a perfect combination between the flaky and buttery cookies and the sesame flavor. Delicious!

See my previous Goodies from Shizuoka post.

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