Thursday, March 10, 2011

Les Ricesses Sweet Strawberry Roll Cake

Since I haven't lived in the U.S. for quite some time now, I wonder how many domestic creations are offered under French brand names as compared to Japan. Not only are many sweets and baked items offered under French names, but it's also incorporated into a lot of apartment building and business names. Does this lend an air of sophistication? Is it conjuring up the odors of fine cheese and wine? I guess back home after the whole "freedom fries" debacle, it's not likely that American businesses are thinking using French words is going to

The truth is that I have never studied a bit of French (I studied Spanish) and only know that "les" is "the". I checked a translator and it appears that "ricesses" isn't a French word, so I don't know what the deal is supposed to be with the brand name of these cakes. Is anyone out there has an idea, let me know. If it's something vaguely pornographic, well, perhaps that'll add some spice to things.

My husband and I encountered this line of individually wrapped cakes at Seiyu supermarket. There are three flavor options, each quite conventional: strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. He wanted to try strawberry, so that's what we paid our 268 yen ($3.27) for. The bag has ten little cake nuggets at 77 calories each. For dainty sorts, it's about 3 bites. For more robust eaters, I'm thinking 2 tops. For Japanese people, who based on my T.V. watching experiences seem to want to cram as much into their mouths as possible, I'm guessing this is just one bite.

The cake is extremely soft and fluffy which is good because if it was firmer it'd probably squirt out the filling onto your computer screen from the pressure your teeth places on it to bite through. The filling is fatty, sweet, and decently flavored with only marginally fake strawberry filling. One thing I really do like about cakes in Japan is that the whipped fillings are generally more "real" than those in the U.S. They always feel decadent on the tongue. The only thing which my husband didn't care for about these was that they have an aftertaste or chemical which he associates with Japanese snack cakes. I'm guessing this is a preservative of some sort, and, while it annoyed him, it didn't bother me.

I liked these, a lot, but there are economics to be considered when reaching a conclusion about a repeat buy. These 10 tiny servings cost a lot more than a single roll of a Lawson's Value Line roll cake and those cakes are easy to find, and offer as much and possibly more total cake quantity. The flavors are also generally more interesting and varied since Lawson's issues seasonal flavors like chestnut and green tea. The main benefit of these Les Ricesses cakes (besides the fancy name) is that they are preserved and packed such that you can keep them around for several weeks without their going stale. Since the Lawson's is one big roll, you have to finish it up in about 3 days before serious staleness sets in.

If you are the type who likes to keep a little nibble of cake about the house for times when your sweet tooth is aching, this is a tasty choice, but if you just want a Swiss cake roll treat for a day or two, the Lawson's is a much cheaper and less wasteful option.


Orchid64 said...

Sorry, Nadia, this comment got lost in a moderation mistake so I'm reposting your comment myself:

From Nadia:

Hi ! I'm french and I confirm that "ricesses" doesn't mean anything in french ! I saw lots of french words and phrases in Japan (used in brands, restaurant names, etc.) who are misspelled, full of mistakes. I think it's another one ! It look like to "les princesses" I guess... I also think japanese people like to give french names (or look like french) because they find it elegant, chic, especially for food stuff.

from me:

Thanks for confirming this! I appreciate it!

Kasia said...

I speak some French too and I can only confirm what the first commenter said. Albeit my own guess is that the misspelled word is "les richesses" (that would be just one letter missing) which approximately would mean "richnesses" or "a lot of wealth", but it still is maybe a misspelling of la richesse = riches, wealth, luxury, abundance etc

Just guessing around, I am not native French so.. It may be a fantasy word as well, since I know many European companies having fantasy names for products, which are meant to sound English or French (those 2 being the most popular languages business wise), and do not mean anything at all

As for a spicy/slang meaning, the online French slang dictionary had no results for "ricesses" :o) (

Dani said...

I'm with Kasia. I bet the cake company meant to say "les richesses," which is odd in and of itself for a French word. I also think that they were ultimately shooting for "la richesse," but failed to hire a proper translator. LOL!! (I studied French for many years and am semi-fluent). :) said...

I hope you, your husband andf friends in Japan are ok!