Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pocky, Bubble Tea and Me

Pocky: a thin, biscuit/shortbread (kinda) stick coated with chocolate or flavored candy popular with hipsters, punks and the design avant-garde.

Well, not really. Although it is popular with fans of Japanese pop culture, particularly anime and manga (graphic novels) you can now find it almost everywhere. I put it off on Daisuke Matsuzaka, the 26 year old Olympic bronze medalist and pitcher (make that THE red hot pitcher at the moment) for the Boston Red Sox who this year signed a $52 million dollar contract as Boston went "Dice K" crazy. Or maybe it's the retinue of about thirty Japanese news reporters that follow him everywhere creating demand for their nation's most popular candy.

Whatever the case, we're glad. We are hooked on the stuff and anytime we share a piece with a friend we hear: "Okay, I'll have just one more."

Then there's bubble tea. You know, it's that brightly colored drink in all kinds of fruity flavors with the little beads of a different color that float up and down in the glass like tiny divers. I only first saw it last year but now it seems to be the most popular summer drink among teenagers in Boston.

As it turns out, those little Trix cereal-like pearls are actually made of flavored tapioca and are edible. Yum-mee. Have your drink and eat it, too. Plus, it looks so damned cool! So, is it me or is the American palate becoming more and more international every day?

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