Sunday, January 30, 2011

Something new: Drinkable Pancakes

Pancake MilkshakeIt'll probably sound weird if I say I love Japanese vending machines, at least the drink ones, but it's kind of true. I'm not a huge soda drinker and generally prefer drinks that aren't sweet. In Canada this usually means my only choice is water, if that. But here in Japan there are all kinds of choices available in your average drink vending machine. Different kinds of green teas, Chinese teas, canned coffees of all varieties (with sugar, without, with milk, without, etc.), and of course water, juice, and so on. What's even cooler about Japanese vending machines is that half of the machine is switched to hot in the winter months. Cold outside? No problem, just warm yourself up with a hot green tea, or whatever you prefer. And vending machines are everywhere! As you can imagine, there is plenty of competition between the drink companies. So they're always coming up with new beverages, new blends, new packaging, all to entice people to buy their drinks.

Dydo Pancake Milkshake

In winter, along with the usual hot coffees and teas, there will usually also be corn soup. I don't know why corn soup, in particular, is so popular, but every winter, there is the corn soup beside the others. I have had it on occasion, and it's surprisingly satisfying if you've missed lunch and are waiting for a train on a cold, windy platform. Anyway, this year it seems that the drink companies decided to go all out trying some new winter offerings. Not only corn potage, but I've seen tomato basil consomm├ę (quite tasty!), curry risotto(!?), and drinkable pancakes(!) The can calls it pancake-flavoured miruku seki, or milk shake, but don't forget that this is served hot! So it's a pancake-flavoured hot milk shake! Mm... it sounds so weird and disgusting I decided I had to try it. Plus it ties in nicely with this month's Hello Japan! mini-challenge, which is to try something new.

Dydo Pancake Milkshake

How did it taste? Well, it was nothing like any milk shake I've ever had. It was very thin, like skim milk in consistency. And quite sweet, as if it had been sweetened with syrup, which I suppose was the point. It actually wasn't quite as bad as I'd expected, but I still don't think I'll bother buying it again. It was just too sweet for me. However, if you wanted something hot, sweet and non-caffeinated, I can see how it might appeal to some.

Japanese vending machine

Here's the machine I got the hot pancake-flavoured milk shake from. You can see that all of the bottom row, and most of the middle row have red labels below the cans and above the buttons. This means these drinks are hot. Besides the pancake one, there's hot chocolate, curry risotto, yuzu lemon, green tea, roasted tea, black tea with milk, black tea with lemon, and all the various coffees.

Which one would you choose?




14 comments:

  1. I love these drinks vending machines :) I remember buying quite a lot of cold coffee from similar machines in Taiwan.

    The liquid pancake one sounds a bit too sweet for me too, but I would love to try it!

    I think I'd go for the curry risotto, just for the heck of it :D Won't you try it for us curious people outside Japan? Pretty please? ;D

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  2. Hmm that doesn't appeal at all. I prefer my pancakes solid.

    I think I'd try the curry risotto, assuming this would be like a cup-a-soup with rice in?

    Interesting people, those Japanese...

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  3. I think I would go for the yuzu lemon green tea. That sounds very appealing to me :)

    I wish I would be able to try some Japanese drinks! However I have been able to get my hands on 5 different tastes of ramune! I will post in my blog about it in the next weeks or so, when I had the chance to actually taste them all ^_^

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  4. Um, I think I'd stick with hot chocolate. lol! I'm not adventurous.

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  5. I love Japanese drinks vending machines - I wish we had some here in the UK. That pancake drink sounds lovely - I'm sure I'd love it!

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  6. I do love pancakes, but... to drink them? No~, thanks. I'd prefer chocolate;)

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  7. I'd probably try that pancake drink out of curiosity, just for once but I don't think I'll want to drink it often, lol.

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  8. I don't think I would ever be brave enough to try hot liquid pancake! I would probably just end up getting tea -- green tea or black tea with milk.

    I missed my chance to try something new this month but I will make it a goal to head to the Japanese market and try something new this year that isn't candy!

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  9. Natsukashiiii ;)

    We used to have one right outside the entrance to our apartment building, and my wife often made me go down and get her a Pepsi (100 Yen). It also had stuff like Pocari Sweat and Mountain Dew (which a Canadian friend of ours was very excited about!).

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  10. Wow! What a variety. The pancake drink doesn't sound right up my alley, but I do love the idea of so much variety!

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  11. It would depend on what I was in the mood for, also whether it was hot or cold out (nothing like a hot can of coffee or tea to help keep your hands warm in the winter!). I'll go with that grape juice with the whole grapes in it! Love that stuff :-)

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  12. That drink is so Japanese :)
    I'd try either yuzu (I love them) or risotto if I could have two.
    I enjoy Japanese drinks, the Fanta is so much less sweeter than Australia.

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  13. Oh, how totally awesome! Drinkable pancakes sound kind of disgusting -- I can't even stand regular pancakes with syrup, anymore -- but it would be great to be able to get a warm soup in a can from a vending machine. They have a lot of interesting vending machines in the UK, these days, too. I read that you can buy a cheap pair of shoes. Probably should have sought that out, since I hobbled around with blisters on our last trip.

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  14. I just *had* to read this entry! I love the Japanese vending machines (so to me you don't sound weird at all!)... but drinkable pancakes?? Wow!!
    Sooo interesting :). I love trying new things so I think I would like to at least try them all. But like you I don't like too sweet drinks (although I sometimes do with very spicy food) so there might be a few one-timers ;)
    Thanks for sharing this!!

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