Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Yamazaki Pan Strawberry Ring Doughnut
One word that Japanese learners of English have a lot of difficulty with is "present" as a verb. They often confuse it with "give a gift", as in, "I gave her a great horned toad for her birthday and she was strangely unmoved by the gesture." They also confuse it with "make a presentation" as in "I presented my sales record to my colleagues and they all recommended that I transfer to another part of the company, such as, the mail room."
On the package containing this doughy specimen, it says, "We are proud to present this Doughnut to you." That conjures up the image of a formal ceremony where the pastry is officially handed over to me with a bowing finish. What they really mean is that they're making a presentation of their product. It still doesn't work as a proper meaning, but I can say that it certainly wasn't a gift since we paid 120 yen ($1.33) for it at the Natural Lawson's convenience store.
To be more accurate, my husband got this at Natural Lawson's and I took some bites of this huge doughnut so that I could review it. Japan's convenience store pastries are always freakishly huge. This was about 15 cm x 11 cm (6 in. x 4.3 in.) and my husband could only eat a little over half for breakfast. How do Japanese people hoover these up and stay so trim? It's a genuine mystery.
Though this is called a doughnut, it's actually more like a cinnamon roll type of thing with psuedo-strawberry jam filling inside and twisted into it instead of cinnamon. It smells pretty much like strawberry sweets. The texture is soft and chewy with no crispness to the outside. The icing is strangely powdery, as if it is halfway between icing and powdered sugar.
The taste is pretty weak on all fronts. There is weak sweetness, though it tends to build up as you have more bites. The strawberry flavor is also mediocre with just the barest hint of the tartness you get from real strawberries. It's quite bland all over and inoffensive, but not all that interesting.
The only thing that this has going for it is that the calorie count, at 351, is actually on the low side for a giant "conbini" pastry. Many of them of a similar size run around 500 calories. This was on the border of an "unhappy" rating for me, but my husband, who this was intended for said he regards it as indifferent. He may finish it, but he won't buy it again.