How 'Bout Them Apples

Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2011 | 1 comments

   It's coming up on entrance exam time again here...if you're not too knowledgeable about Japanese university entrance exams, just click here, since I don't have a lot of time to type about them at the moment.
 Basically though, a bunch of students are feverishly studying their days away, hoping to pass either the national entrance exam or an entrance exam of the college of their choice (or both). This is obviously a particularly stressful time, with additional intensity coming from the realization that if one doesn't get into a good university, then it's hard to get a job at a well-regarded company upon graduation.
 So, of course, why not capitalize on this stress any way we can, right? Hence the slew of various products designed to bring good luck on the exams. I've seen entrance exam Hi-Chew candy in previous years, but this was the first time I found 'good luck' apples. I guess they're grown with special stickers pasted onto the sides, preventing light from reaching the apple in certain spots...which results in....

                                        'Good luck on entrance exams' apple

Hopefully the good luck they bring is way better than their taste, since they were quite mealy and gross! I inadvertently bought 3 (before I knew what the Chinese characters said) and after tasting one, the other two are going into my banana bread recipe so nobody has to suffer through eating them plain!

     While we're on the higher education subject, I also found daigaku imo Kit Kats a while back. I only saw these in Yokohama however and didn't bother to grab a bag, seeing as they seemed too similar to the sweet potato Kit Kats we previously tasted. Click here for that Kit Kat
In a nutshell, daigaku imo (directly translated as 'University sweet potato') are candied deep fried Japanese sweet potatoes topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. This treat probably originated as an affordable snack sold to students in colleges around Tokyo during the Taisho period (1912 to 1926), hence the name. That's it for today's lesson!


strwberrryjoy said...

I absolutely adore the hello kitty top! Very sweet!