Olympic ice cream, with a Japanese twist. Personally, I think Japan should have been on the green tea ice cream, but no big deal... (All images from Lotte's web site)
One of my many little pleasures in life is looking at sites devoted to retro recipes. There are several out there, but my favorite is Retro Recipe Attempts. I like it because the woman who writes the posts actually tries the recipes to see how well they hold up to modern tastes. One of the reasons these retro recipes are so funny, besides the fact that they often sound and look unpalatable, is that it's clear in many cases that the entire ingredient list was constructed to maximize the use of a particular company's products. In some cases, it means adding just that extra inconsequential spoonful so that you feel compelled to buy another product.
The Gallery of Regrettable Food similarly showcases recipes which include copious amounts of products that you never knew could be used in cooking. I never would have guessed that you could use 7-Up in salad dressing, for making pie crust or to baste a ham, for instance. You can even spice up your kid's glass of milk with a bit of it. Yum, yum.
Americans aren't the only ones attempting to shoehorn in as many products as possible when creating recipes and most of the major Japanese food manufacturers have recipes on their sites to encourage maximum consumption of their products. The adorable ice cream parfaits pictured above are part of Lotte's efforts. They will encourage you to use 4 kinds of candy and 4 varieties of their "Lady Bordon" ice cream. The little "surprise" to this is that the bottom isn't ice cream, but yogurt. I'm not sure if that's about adding a balance to the sweet flavors or a hint of nutrition, but it sounds like a horrible combination to me. Candy and yogurt don't play well together. Lotte recommends this as a way to offer color and cuteness. They don't mention much about flavor.
To continue the Olympic theme, they have this winner's circle featuring the Koala's March cookies as the winners. I like how they avoided using any reference to flags of actual nations. It's very politically correct of them. This recipe uses Toppo for the pretzel stick flag pole and Crunky cookies for the platform. I've reviewed or sampled all of these products at one time or another, and, while I believe these are cute as a monkey's ear, I wouldn't care to consume any of them. Most of these are way too sweet.
They also have an actual recipe for cookies that will allow you to construct a ribbon rather than simply assemble their various sweets. However, they would not be complete without one of their cookies. It seems that the "gold" medal warrants a Ghana cookie. Crunky cookies are part of the bronze, and that's quite rightfully so. Anything and everything Ghana is far better than those who relate to Crunky.
Finally, you can make your own medals. I guess the Koala's represent Olympic champions. I'm not sure what the little Toppo pretzel rods are symbolic of (javelins?) nor the little balls of "capuche" candy (shot puts?). The things that look like little bowls are called "colo galita", and I was utterly unfamiliar with them prior to researching these recipes. They're little waffles filled with two kinds of chocolate. They're not new as they were introduced by Lotte in late October 2006. I just never noticed them or saw them in shops.
I think it's rather nice that Lotte posted these adorable recipes. Though it does smack of the same self-serving commercialism as things like a 7-Up cookbook, at least these aren't trying to suggest that you incorporate them into your dinner plans.