Sei Baruntain Chocolate For Those You Love AND Those You Hate
by Michelle "Ms. Geek" Klein-Hass
It's that time of the year again. Women in Japan are frantically running around dealing with candy shopping. Some of them are even dealing with candy making. Why? Sei Baruntain, better known as Valentine's day here.
As I mentioned last year, Valentine's Day is very different in Japan than it is in the Western world. And Japanese customs surrounding this imported holiday have spread to South Korea, Taiwan and China to one extent or another.
The Japanese novelty store Village Vanguard, however, have come up with a means to give perhaps the most special chocolate ever to the (male) love of your life. Imagine giving him a heart that is anatomically correct? Or other organs of your body, to show him just how much he means to you? Now you can. Here:
These organs have been made with strawberry-flavored white chocolate and a touch of red food coloring to make them quite realistic, if miniaturized.
A suggested preparation even shows the organs on a tray, with some sort of bloody-looking fluid surrounding them. Is it one's own life blood? Is it pomegranate juice? Is it cranberry juice? Is it a cherry sauce? Village Vanguard is not clear about this.
On the other extreme, there is the tradition of "girl-choco" office and school giving. This is not candy for friends or your secret love (please notice me, Senpai...) but chocolate for people you'd rather not be giving chocolate to. For those people in your life that make you wanna Upchuck, Village Vanguard also has you covered.
Yes, that's right. That's chocolate, too. But it's chocolate in the shape of what the Japanese call unchi. Poo. You get the choice of two different sizes of poop candy molds, a big one in which they baked a chocolate cake,
...and these charming chibi-unchi molds that look like something a fashion doll left behind after dinner. This way, you can tell your unwanted suitors to eat poo and die, but in the sweetest of ways.
Something to treat yourself, this Valentine's Day? Well, if you are in Japan, your local 7-11 will be stocking their bun steamer (yes, Chinese-style steamed buns are common Konbini fast food) with glorious, heart-shaped chocolate steamed buns!
Instead of that donut or muffin, try this! It looks like the bun is filled with what looks like chocolate pudding. Looks delicious!
And Nestle is putting out their perennial favorites, Kit Kat, as dessert sushi! If you go to the Kit Kat Chocolatory in the Ginza District of Tokyo, you can walk away as a special gift if you spend your Giri-Choco money there. If you drop 3,000 yen on chocolate gifts, (which is easy to do if you work in a large office) you can enjoy the sweet equivalents of such sushi hits as:
Maguro, (Tuna) done with raspberry chocolate Kit Kat;
Uni (Sea Urchin) gunkan-style, done with Hokkaido Melon with sweet Mascarpone cheese filling Kit Kat;
and Tamago, (Omelette) done with pumpkin pudding Kit Kat.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
You'd think it would be a bit late to announce 2017 chocolates but that's what just happened. First, for your One Piece loving dude, there are now very pricey but also very cool One Piece related chocolates. There are two sets: Luffy and Law. Here's the Luffy set:
And here's the Law set.
These don't come cheap: 2,190 Yen ($19) for an itty bitty box. But they are awesome. Not something you'd buy for Giri-Choco, but more like Honmei-Choco.
If you read through the Valentine's Day primer we posted last year, you would know that any guy who gets Valentine's Day chocolates has to reciprocate a month later on White Day. These very natsukashii and pretty Rose of Versailles chocolates will be a romantic gift for the classic anime loving girl in your life.
They come in a gorgeous heart-shaped tin box so you can show your girl that she is the Princess Ai of your heart.