Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I see posts like these amongst the NOLA blogpocheh who are fighting the good rebuilding-of-their-homes fight 24/7. I'm getting loads of analysis of the presidential candidates along the lines of "yes, but are they good for New Orleans?" from other quarters. Yes, the fight for housing and much, much better city planning is still going on in its own way (and I've got to see if I can fit this into my Saturday schedule). No, I'm not going in on the political handicapping that some people seem to be taking a kind of perverse glee in engaging in. *Sigh*

It was actually a little heartening, and a tad surprising, to see Obamoyster waxing lovingly about some chewing gum. It had me feeling nostalgic for some candy from my partly cloudy past.

The confection in question is from Japan and is named Milky :

Made by Fujiya Company in Japan, Milky and its little girl, Peko-chan, have been around since the '50's, and there is quite a marketing blitz around this cartoon character - until fairly recently, apparently:
Peco-chan, the character representing the major confectioner Fujiya Company, was already born in 1950. For years she was smiling in life-size around sweets shops in Japan, but recently a huge scandal about Fujiya using expired milk to make some 15,000 cream puffs forced Peco-chan to hide…

Along with that people discovered a few “older” food poisoning cases which oops! Fujita failed to report and, well… I suppose from now on poor Peco-chan has to pay the high price for Fujita’s slack quality control.

Today, without even really looking for it in Buffalo Exchange, I saw a change purse with Peko-chan on it and just had to get it; my love for this candy runs that deep.

It is really that good, you might ask?

Well, yeah. It tastes like your mother.

Wait, wait! Don't be offended! It's what it says on the box. Really.

A student from Japan in the glass department at my college introduced the department head to Milky candy, probably at a place we nicknamed the Japanese Mall in Boston, where we'd stop off after a field trip to Harvard to see the Blaschka Glass Flowers or UMass' glass department or Gerhard Finkenbeiner's quartz workshop and glass harmonica manufacturing studio, among other things. It was supposed to be an international mall, but there was a Japanese grocery there, the food court was almost all noodle shops, sushi places, and dessert kiosks serving ginger, green tea, and red bean ice cream along with other Asian pastries and goodies, and, aside from a Gap clothing store, there wasn't much else there.

All I knew was, by the time I was taking glass courses, Milky had become legendary amongst the glass students at school, because the Japanese student had translated the writing on the box as "tastes like your mother". Ohhh, boy. Sounds like an invitation to the dozens is what that sounds like, doesn't it? Yo' mama...

The legend only grew when the same student went out to the Pilchuck Glass School and came up with the winning t-shirt design for his summer session. It featured the iconic Peko-chan and, arc-ing underneath her picture, the declaration: "Pilchuck Tastes Like Your Mother". If anybody out there possesses one of those shirts, send it to me, please. Not that I'd actually be able to wear it until my son was fully grown and outta the just has that *sniff* sentimental value.

Until then, I will be carrying my Peko-chan change purse with great pride. If anybody also has a line on the availability of Milky in the greater New Orleans area, let me know. I really can't negotiate Fujiya's site too well - I'm having a hard enough time understanding a recent acquisition of my son's all about Japan's railways (complete with an all-Japanese DVD):

Translator, anyone?

Oh, wait...maybe I don't want to know...

Update, 1-11: Oh, and the fact that this group is coming to the city to have their annual meeting? Entirely coincidental, y'all (Thanks, Bruce!). Is that ever funny.


Adrastos said...

Ooh, I like Obamoyster. But is his treat of choice gum or Kool-aid? Hmmm...

Nola ( said...

Quite the tagline!! Those Japanese!

Leigh C. said...

Shecky, I'm thinking Kool-Aid. Not everybody likes that Teaberry gum - I think he'd have to do maaajor Barack brain washing to get people to even TAKE that gum.

Roy Blount Jr wrote in his autobiographical "Be Sweet" about a trip to China in which he saw a mangled English slogan on a t-shirt he HAD to have: "We Can To Communicate. All The World Is Cocorabbit"


New Orleans News Ladder said...

I are really great! Really Really Really
Smells like Teen Spirit.
I was going to say something, errrra...pithy, but would rather just read yer blog instead.

candice said...

Milky can be found at the gourmet asian market on Williams in Kenner. That's my usual source. One of my aunts is Japanese, so I have been addicted to that stuff for quite some years.

It may also be found at the Hong Kong Food Market on Behrman Highway on the westbank, and at the little Oriental Products food mart on Edenborn between Vets and the service road.

Leigh C. said...

Thanks, Candice!