Halloween Meltdown ’16: More Junk Food

When you walk into my local Marunaka (a big grocery chain), there’s a display of Halloween junk food right at the front. So naturally every time I go there I cave and buy at least one Halloween-branded thing. This time the main event was this bag of cookies with the hilarious brand name “Country Ma’am,” which in Japanese is pronounced “kahn-toe-ree ma-mu.” (That’s not a proper romaji rendering, for all you language nerds, but an accurate phonetic one.)

These are another ordinary thing made super great by the application of tacky Halloween graphics, and I couldn’t be happier. The best part is, for mass-produced garbage snacks, these cookies are really good. They’re just normal chocolate chip cookies (with both regular and chocolate dough), but they’re slightly chewy in the middle and the chocolate chips melt in your mouth. Not sure the tiny silver dollar-sized cookies need to be individually wrapped, but whatever, they scratch that chocolate chip itch.

Halloween Meltdown ’16: Japanese Junk Food

I went to the grocery store today, and, proving once again that I am a sucker for kitsch, I caved under the weight of so much Halloween-themed kawaiiness and bought some junk food. Just two things, though that’s more than enough to send me into diabetic shock.

On the left we have Lotte’s standard koala snack things. They’re basically thin cookie shells with cream filling (chocolate, in this case). These are common in Asian grocers in the US, so odds are you’ve seen them before. They even have their own English website. But THIS time the box has pumpkins and the koala guy has little bat wings. And the little cookies themselves have vaguely Halloweenish designs–one is wearing a pumpkin mask, and one appears to be drinking heavily.

On the right is a box of Moonlight “sofuto ke-ki” (soft cakes) from Morinaga. They have an English website too, and at a glance it seems that Moonlight cookies are offered year-round. But the ones I got today are cookie cream sandwiches, so maybe that’s only for Halloween? Anyway, they’re similar in concept to various American snacks like moonpies and those infamous Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, but they differ in execution. They’re much lighter than they look and kind of melt away to nothing in your mouth. The ghosts, witches, and pumpkins on the box are just icing on the sofuto ke-ki.

As the koala box cheerily proclaims, “エンジョイハロウィン” (“enjoy Halloween”). In related news, my stomach hurts and I need a nap.