What’s In Your Bento? Thursday, 11.11.2010

Breakfast: “Mille Crepe” from school vending machine. A perfect example of how a disaster leads to a beautiful eating experience. I slept through my alarm for the first time here in Japan, waking up at 7:52 a.m. (for reference, the train I take to school LEAVES at 7:48 from the station). Normally, this would not be a huge deal, since most days my first classes don’t start until 10:00 a.m. However, one day a week I teach first period. That day is Thursday. Today is a Thursday. Awesome.

The next train leaves at 8:00 on the dot, and if I don’t catch that one, I’m completely sunk. Remember, I WOKE UP AT 7:52. Never have I moved so fast in my life. I literally threw on clothes, hopped on the bike and pedaled as fast as I could to train station, arriving huffing and puffing at 7:59, much to the delight of my students who take that train. Luckily, there was a bus waiting at the Nishikajima train station that took me to school, and I walked in a little frazzled but only 20 minutes late, and just in time for first period.

So how does that lead us to the Mille Crepe? Well, I didn’t have time for breakfast, so I figured I’d go to the vending machine. Normally, I’d get pop tarts, but they were all out, and I almost walked away. Then, it happened. The first thing that drew my attention was the label- “Mille Crepe”. What does it mean? I don’t know, but I had to try it. The fact that it was only 100 yen? Another huge plus. I dropped in the coin, hit vend, and a beautiful relationship was born.

This was easily the greatest thing I’ve put in my mouth since arriving in Japan. So soft, so sweet, so awesome. Succulent sponge cake filled with amazing creme filling, like the beautiful older sister of a Twinkie. I have never seen it before but on this day, this disaster of a day, I was given a treat from the gods that has kept me smiling since. Oh Mille Crepe, how I love thee.

If you ever see one of these in your local vending machine, buy the entire stock. You'll thank me each time you bite into one.

Lunch: Bento.

Rating: A-. After Mille Crepe, how could one be in a sour mood? They could have put dog food in my bento and I would have given it a B. Luckily, this was actually pretty good anyway.

Highlights: Fried chicken patty, lotus root pinwheels, sesame peppers and pork.

Lowlights: Spinach.

White rice (not pictured), sesame flavored pork and peppers, spinach, dried seaweed, lotus root pinwheels, cold spaghetti, sticky rice wrapped in soy casing, fried ring (not sure what was inside), fried chicken

Lunch extra: Hard boiled egg from Hakone. This past weekend, I took a trip to an active volcano in Hakone. They boil eggs in the sulfur pits around the volcano and as a result, the outside of the eggs turn black (and it smells absolutely awful). These eggs are considered a local delicacy, and so I brought some back as a gift for my teachers. I decided to eat one myself. Tasted just like a normal hard-boiled egg in my book, but the design on the shell was pretty sweet.

Dinner: Sushi from Kappa Sushi, the local “100 yen conveyor belt” sushi joint. You’ll notice I even branched out a little this week, eating a new tuna sushi and a glazed soybean roll as well as some old favorites.

Crab meat sushi

Shrimp sushi

Sweet soybean wrap with sweet rice inside. I hadn't eaten one of these since my first week here and had forgotten how good they are.

Breaded shrimp

Tuna sushi. My first time trying it, and it tastes much better than it looks.

Unagi (eel) sushi

Cookies and cream crepe from Kappa sushi. It's no Mille Crepe, but it will do in a pinch.

Late night: PBJ with tortilla chips inside for that extra *crunch*. Putting chips inside your PBJ is one of life’s little joys that I promise never to outgrow.

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