The Adventures Of Fatrick: Hello Kitty Apple-Bread Thing

May 19, 2010

The fact seems so obvious it feels dumb to even write it down but — Hello Kitty is everywhere in Japan. Thanks to a licensing philosophy best described as “if something exists, it should have Hello Kitty’s face on it,” the mouthless spectre of a certain Sanrio creation pops up at least once a day. Whether plastered on my student’s notebooks, my co-worker’s Kleenex boxes or on a “weird Japan” blog post, escaping the image of Kitty borders on the impossible. Now, one of my favorite places in Japan has been given the Sanrio makeover – Lawson’s Convenience Store.

Following in the footsteps of the Relaxation Bear plate giveaway, Lawson’s have introduced a new promotion where if one collects thirty “Hello Kitty points” they get a blue mug with the words “Hello Kitty” inscribed on it along with a small picture of the famous feline. To help advertise this, Hello Kitty is everywhere in the store and on a series of new products bearing stickers. The one that caught my eye – and opened up my wallet – was the “Hello Kitty Apple Bread Item.”

It's not

It's not

Declaring itself…apparently the foodstuff can talk…as “heavy as three apples,” the real draw of the item is the general freakishness of it all. The engineers at Lawson’s responsible for making new bread-based foods managed to make a vaguely apple-shaped good colored the same shade of red as a Slushee, complete with fake stem and green blotch standing in for the leaf you never actually see apples have. Picking the faux-apple up, it definitely doesn’t feel like it weighs more than three apples…though who knows how big an apple we should use for comparison. How does it taste?

Not natural, no sir

Not natural, no sir

Surprisingly pleasant, mostly because the appley exterior serves just as a vessel for some sweet apple slices ala an apple pie. Since I’d be perfectly content living off nothing but apples if life forced such a situation upon me, this tasted delicious despite being an alarmingly artificial variety of red and including a bread stem I couldn’t identify. All in all, a tasty albeit weird looking treat which will surely serve as the gateway to me collecting Hello Kitty points like a zombie in order to obtain a mug that doesn’t even look cool.

(Japanese Fun Fact #62 – The popular stereotype regarding Japanese people is that they are very nice. Such a broad generalization is, obviously, not true…every country has assholes!…but today I experienced a small dose of Japanese kindness. It rained today, and since I loath umbrellas, I walked home from school with my hood. Well, a lady on the street stopped me and asked if I wanted her umbrella. Despite the fact she would get soaking wet, she was willing to give up her umbrella to some absent-minded foreigner. I declined. But hey, nice gesture!)

(Japanese Fun Fact #63 – I got a free “sample kit” of salad dressings from my gym today. Weird promotion but…OK!)

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