kani-san (Ms. Connie)
I know I mentioned that my mother's name, Connieカニー , is pretty much a homonym for the Japanese word for crab, kani かに.
Incidentally, my favorite local kimono shop isかね屋 kaneya, which also sounds similar.
As a result, I'm always on the lookout for items with a crab motif. Not hard to do here, since crabs is good eatin' and make good design motifs for non-commestibles as well. The other night, I was at the local konbeni, Lawsons (Rawsons, if you're Japanese) and in the bakery section, came across this item.
It's a "Kani-San" pastry, made by the Shiraishi baking company.
But the package had a crab on the label so I picked it up anyway, since it made me think of Mom, and I've been missing her more that usual lately. I would have loved to send it to her, but there's no way it would have survived the week-long journey to the states intact.
Because the pastry was great for its intrinsic WTF? value, I bought it anyway, even if it was full of creamed pork (or God knows what) just to take it home, show Chris, and to take some pictures and post them here.
And besides, the Kani-san logo on the front was sooooo cute, I couldn't resist it. I'm saving it, because I think it would be a really cute tattoo for my mom.
The pinchy part also made me think of my mom, who would (and still can) pinch the crap out of us two kids with her toes (I can do it too and Chris and the cat HATE it). You'd be watching TV and all of sudden "WAHHRNK!" get a hell of pinch. Mom would act all innocent and we kids would get majorly pissed off and not really be able to do anything about it. A mother's revenge may be simple, but it is profound (and painful).
Anyhoo, the pastry itself was shaped like a crab! I thought that was pretty cool but on closer inspection, I decided it looked more like a tick (or maybe those face-huggers from Alien). Ew.
Before it could jump on my face and pry my mouth open and take its fattening self directly to my ass, where it would cause large masses of cellulite to arise, I broke off its legs. Or rather one set of them. The pastry was light and flaky, like a croissant and it looked tasty.
But then there was the whole conundrum of what the filling might be. I was truly concerned that it was a savory filling (made with pork). I can't read too many kanji, but I know the one for niku (meat): 肉 I also know sake 酒 (liquor) but that wasn't relevant, although it is an important kanji to know. I didn't see niku (or sake, for that matter) anywhere on the label.
So the the final test was to take a bite of the pastry, even though I'm on a diet and shouldn't be having it. I sort of justified it by reasoning that if it was an (sweet bean paste) it wasn't too bad for me, because an isn't very sugary and it's beans, so it's sort of healthy. If it was pork, I could spit it out. If it was God knows what, I'd swallow it and hope I didn't get a case of the screamin' squits later on.
It wasn't pork! It was chocolate mousse, sort of like what you find in filled donuts. It wasn't as sweet as American donut filling, with less sugar and use of bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, but it was yummy. The filling was only in the leg parts of the crab, not in the body.
Unlike most prepared Japanese food, this one had a nutrition label (I also can read the kanji for calories, fat, carbohydrate and fiber--who's the hardcore dieter here, eh?). So it wasn't great for me: 400 calories, 46g of carbohydrates, 22g of fat (ugh) and 1g of fiber. It meant I had to pass up my breakfast and my morning snack and make sure I got to the gym today, but it was a nice treat and I thoroughly enjoyed it.