Asia's Most Exotic Beverages...Curry Ramune, Eel Drink, and Pig Placenta
Those of us who enjoy sampling just about every sort of Asian food that we happen across know that at times a fearless attitude can be a little dangerous. We're not just talking about danger in the improperly-prepared-fugu sense. The fact is that a lot of foods from the far east are a bit too daring for us meek westerners and if you're not careful it's easy to get in over your head. One of the places you might not expect to get in over your head would be beverages, but even in this seemingly safe harbor it can get a little dicey.
Take for example Curry and Wasabi Ramune Soda. An alternative to drinks that cool and refresh you, these drinks are designed to burn your head clean off. Here at AFG we can't count how many times we've thought to ourselves "ramune soda is great, but it just isn't spicy enough." Wait, yes we can. None. None times.
On the less-appalling-but-still-wildly-inappropriate front is Kid's Beer, a frothy non alcoholic drink marketed to small children. As a generation whose parents wouldn't let them have candy cigarettes and who balked at Big League Chew (it just seemed a little too close to chewing tobacco), one can imagine the cable news freak-out that would occur if this made its way across the Pacific. It isn't surprising, then, that this is still only available in Japan
"Yes yes," you're saying, "this is all well and good but what do you have in the way of fish-extract based drinks?" Well we're glad you asked. Unagi Nobori is a carbonated health drink infused with the theoretically delicious extract of eel. As much as we love a slice of eel on a sushi tray, this fizzy fish drink is a bit too far.
The final drink in our cavalcade of calamitous cocktails is not for the faint of heart. InventorSpot (warning: this link is not for the squeamish) lays out the details of Placenta 10000, the drink made with real pig placenta. The manufacturers guarantee that you won't be able to taste it a bit, and they'd better be right if they expect anybody to pony up the yen for a drink made from... do we have to say it again?
Things like this might seem like more than enough reason to keep you from experimenting with Japanese drinks but remember that adventure is part of the true gourmet experience. Who knows, you just might find that curry soda goes really well with your favorite burger, or that eel soda is the perfect compliment to fantastic sushi. Who knows you might even find out that placen- On second thought, maybe not.