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…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.
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.
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 house...it 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):
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.