There are two things our Japanese-language reporter Ahiru Neko loves: booze and Peanuts. And no, we don’t mean that he likes to snack on legumes while knocking back cold ones, and we didn’t capitalize “Peanuts” because we’ve been sneaking sips of Ahiru Neko’s 100-yen (US$0.93) canned energy drink cocktails and are buzzed enough to throw capitalization conventions to the wind.
Ahiru Neko is a big fan of Snoopy and Charlie Brown, so much so that when he found out there was a line of traditional nerikiri Japanese sweets coming out to salute the Peanuts cast, he asked if he could do an article on them. Nerikiri is a mixture of gyuhi, extra soft mochi rice cake, and shiroan, white sweet bean paste.
The Peanuts nerikiri are available exclusively at convenience store chain Lawson, and priced at 259 yen (US$2.40) each. We’ve got a Lawson branch right across the street from SoraNews24 headquarters in Shinjuku, so Ahiru Neko was back from his shopping trip in just a matter of minutes with Snoopy, Joe Cool, and Charlie Brown.
The three are part of the "Tabemasu" series, which has previously included nerikiri versions of Rilakkuma, Mickey Mouse, and most recently (and terrifyingly) Kirby. There’s plenty of good old-fashioned wagashi attention to detail, like Joe Cool’s sunglasses, Snoopy’s collar, and Charlie Brown’s unassuming, slightly shy smile.
Ahiru Neko was thoroughly impressed with the sweets’ appearance, which was on par with decorative, non-edible figures. But remember how we said there was one condition we put on his assignment? The condition was that he had to share, and the only way to make sure everyone got a fair portion was to cut the nerikiri sweets into pieces.
So after he was done taking photos, Ahiru Neko, with a heavy heart, picked up the office knife and solemnly faced the trio. He started with Joe Cool, who, true to his name, didn’t even flinch as the deed was done. An internal examination revealed that Joe Cool is filled with salty vanilla cream, though the primary flavor here is still that of shiroan.
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