19 June 2011

Smiley Melon and Milky

I don't know where to start with our recent trip, so I'll just go with something conveniently related that isn't bound by exact places and events.

To fully appreciate today's featured food packaging it's good to note that the local speciality product is a big deal in Japan. If you visit a particular place you basically have to see x, do y, and, most importantly, eat z. I'm proud to say that I survived my first you-went-to-Hokkaidō-did-you-eat-...? interrogation with flying colours this Friday. I do however have to explain to my colleagues that I don't visit zoos or other famous animal enclosures if I can help it. Moral issues aside, why travel hundreds of kilometres to see animals in cages? I can think of quite a few other things I'd rather do with my time. (Eat more z?)

Anyway, along with eating z yourself, it's also polite to bring some of it or something that's styled to taste like it back for your friends and colleagues to try.

So on right and below you can see Puccho ふっちょ, a soft candy available all over Japan, in flavours that match the particular regions' specialities. I like the packaging in part because the die cut on the front is useful for making adorable picture frames, and the big picture on the back of the inside box makes a good postcard, as I did with apple and mikan Puccho before. This time I got melon and milk, two of Hokkaidō's specialities. While you can definitely get tired of the cute personification of objects around here—why does a poo or a toilet need a face, really?—this packaging is just super sweet.

Some of the Hokkaidō things featured on the front and back of the individual packages inside include: historical buildings and the night view of Hakodate; the Sapporo Clock Tower 札幌時計台; eating Jingisukan ジンギスカン, sushi, crab, Hokkaidō-style donburi, and Sapporo ramen; the flowers of Furano; and sculptures from the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. If you view the side of the box too you get a good list of Hokkaidō animals like cows and sheep, BEARS!, salmon, seals, the Hokkaidō fox, deer, and some kind of eagle.

A world in a candy box.

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