Thursday, June 30, 2011
I've mentioned before that I took on a part-time job because of post-quake income loss. This has had many benefits for me and a few drawbacks. The main drawback is that blogging time has been dramatically slashed and I now struggle to keep up (and may yet have to reduce posting frequency, but I'm hoping not to). The benefits, beyond more cash, are that I'm meeting a whole new crop of people and learning ever more about Japan and the Japanese people and that I have regular access to areas I wouldn't normally go to. To that end, there's a convenience store (konbini) chain that is not in my area but is at one of my new workplaces. It's called "Daily Yamazaki". Note that going to a shop is infinitely better than hanging around one of my new workplaces since it is located in a huge old building in a very seedy area that houses a giant pachinko parlor, a karaoke bar, and several other establishments catering to less than elegant appetites. However, the job itself is great and the workplace very nice except for the air conditioning settings which are designed for reptilian metabolisms.
One might think that a "konbini" is a konbini is a konbini, but that is not so. The Daily Yamazaki chain is ran by the same people who make Yamazaki Pan products. That means they get to gobble up more shelf space in their own convenience stores. These are things which I'm not likely to find anywhere else and that's how I ran across this "Lemonack". I was killing time before work (as I'm compulsive and always arrive early) and checking out their stock. I picked this up purely based on name and the fact that it was made with lemon as I didn't have copious amounts of time and didn't investigate the ingredients list. The front of the package is utterly devoid of clues as to what is inside, but at a mere 68 yen (85 cents) for something about half the size of my palm, I wasn't really making a big investment anyway.
It turned out that this is a little lemon cake with lemon coating. This must be a seasonal thing right now because local bakeries have been offering very similar things as of late and this is not too dissimilar from the Fujipan lemon cake that I reviewed previously. Well, it is a lot smaller, less sweet and less moist, but the general shape and concept are the same. The cake is slightly dry, which isn't surprising considering it has to sit around for about a week in the store. Most of the flavor is coming from the sweet lemony coating, as is a very nice aroma. While the yellow cake doesn't add much taste, it also doesn't really detract.
This is a hard one to rate because I definitely enjoyed eating it, but couldn't help but think that I'd only buy it again under specific circumstances. I'd have to have coffee or tea to have with it to offset the dryness, desire a baked good, and want a small portion to ensure that I wouldn't eat too much. Since I'm generally pretty good at limiting portions without external enforcement, the latter isn't a strong issue for me, but may be for others. I'd also probably have to be looking for something economical rather than a more expensive bakery option because there are bakeries in the vicinity as well. That being said, I think this warrants a favorable rating overall, but I wouldn't be jonesing for another... though I'd buy a whole case if Yamazaki Pan would explain the naming and why this is called a "nack".
Just a gentle reminder that there is a contest running for two weeks to win a few snack and snack-related goodies. If you'd like to enter, the details are in this post.