Saturday, November 10, 2007

Radioactive Chickens!

I was just having a late breakfast, and as I bit into a hard-boiled egg with orangey center, I was reminded of a food blog on Japan I ran across while doing a bit of research yesterday.

This guy was startled by how orange the egg yolks are here, and was subsequenly afraid to eat Japanese eggs for fear that they were artificial.

News flash, buddy. That's what eggs are supposed to look like. Our hormone-injected, cruelty-laden, caged up, mass produced American eggs with yellow yolks are not the real deal.

Alannah and I joked in Europe and back on her parents' farm that real eggs we were eating are "nuclear" orange.

In the spirit of that, I'm going to try and start a rumor that Japanese egg yolks were yellow like ours, but became glowing orange after a couple of incidents in 1945. In fact, it's these nuclear yolks that spurred the idea of Godzilla. Startled by their mutant eggs, Japanese filmmakers devised a cautionary tale about a nuclear future by coming up with the big, rubber-suited beast we've come to know and love.

Ok, it's a stretch, but I'm sure anyone silly enough to think that eggs more real than what we get are home are actually artificial would buy this story hook, line, and nuclear orange sinker.

Of course, such obliviousness can be forgivable in Japan. After all, this is a country that - while having some of the freshest foods imaginable - likes to package the hell out of everything and dazzle you with an array of artificial flavors. Do you like bread? Perhaps you'd like to try the tomato flavor. Or the grape flavor. Or the banana flavor. Yes, of bread.

The most offensive of this formulary of flavors has to be melon. As a kid, I was wary of sweets brought over from Japan. It was always a minefield of melon-flavored candy. Melon-flavored gum. Melon-flavored cake. Melon-flavored mouthwash. Melon-flavored... anything. Good god, they love their artificial melon flavor here. The only exception is meron-pan (melon bread), a delicious, soft, not-too-melony delight that tastes like an all-natural gift from heaven. I don't know how natural anything is when it's chock full of bleached flour, refined sugar, melon flavor, and green coloring - but believe me, it's good. You can pick it up at almost any Asian bakery back home, by the way. Try it.

And when you do, tell everyone that Japanese egg yolks are orange because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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