These last weeks have not been good for breakfast. Life has been rather rough, and it’s brought on a depression that leaves me weak-armed and unwilling to consume anything but smoothies and soup. But it’s autumn, and we should have nice things to eat. Scones are easy, and sage doesn’t have to be just for stuffing turkeys or making pumpkin turnovers. Try it with dried apricots and apricot jam in these simple cream scones.
This year’s winner: Elysian’s Punkuccino. I was a little skeptical of a coffee-chocolate-pumpkin beer, but the flavors are perfectly balanced–a molasses-malt head, rich pumpkin, coffee, and stout with a little sweetness.
I got to try a lot of these at the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival–highly recommend the event. Special thanks to my family in Ohio for hooking me up with the Midwestern beers!
Today’s post is about shifts in marketing: which brands continue to produce Halloween-themed goods/advertising and which don’t. Also doughnuts.
Mister Donut decided to go with fall-themed cronuts this year: crushed chestnut whip, apple-custard pie, and cherry-cream pie. Meanwhile, Krispy Kreme Japan went full-out Halloween with “Krispy Skremes,” and they are not messing around:
Pocky’s been doing Halloween-themed packaging for a few years but I hadn’t written about it because the product was the same. This year, Pocky has Halloween packaging for the normal chocolate and strawberry flavors:
It’s that time again!
As I’ve written before, Halloween has exploded into the Japanese food scene. Ten years ago, there were–as to be expected–barely any Halloween specials or goods. An increasingly large cultural shift toward Halloween as popular (children’s) holiday began sometime around 2010. While some of the shift was motivated by consumer demand, the ramped up marketing has increased awareness and consumer demand, leading other businesses to make their own Halloween specials to keep up with the popularity of the holiday.
These posts are not to promote these products or companies but are meant to highlight the relationship between increasing popular awareness about Halloween (via English-language education and American expats and immigrants) and the increasing market saturation of Halloween as a means of selling seasonal and limited-time goods. I am not compensated for these posts; nor am I endorsing the products.
Not living in Japan anymore means I rely on my readers, social media, and other bloggers to help me cover Halloween. Inheriting Exile was kind enough to tip me off about KFC and Pocky’s new campaigns. (Some of her recipes are in the Japan-friendly recipe section!)
“Kentucky Halloween” (KFC)
More muffins! These fig-almond muffins are perfect for autumn. If you’re looking for a break from all the cinnamon and pumpkin products, try one of these!
It’s only now, right at the end of berry season here in the Pacific Northwest, that I’ve gotten this recipe to where I want it. For some reason, The Joy of Cooking‘s whole-wheat-muffin base recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of butter when the non-whole-wheat recipe calls for 4-8. Trust me, you need that “extra” butter.
Japan notes: Muffins are lovely to make in a moven/oven range. Blueberries tend to be in season in June-July, and culinary lavender can be purchased in Japan, though where you get it may depend on where you live. I found some at Ikeda Herb Center in Nagano and Nunobiki Herb Garden (English, 日本語) in Kobe, and a friend gave me some from Meidi-ya in Kyoto. If you don’t live near a place that grows lavender, you might try a gourmet grocery or import store, or online. Lavender meant for cooking may be referred to as dried lavender (kansô rabendâ, 乾燥ラベンダー ) or culinary lavender (ryôriyô no rabendâ, 料理用のラベンダー ).
[sarcasm] I mean, what do you expect, with a name like “Pig Minds”?!1 They’re so edgy and you just know it’s going to push the boundaries, so lighten up, ugh! [/sarcasm]
Do we really have to do this song and dance every year in craft brewing until certain craft brewers and their piss-poor graphic design/marketing teams understand that objectifying women isn’t an effective way to market; never mind the fact that it’s sexist, trite, and completely out of touch with reality, or behaving like a human?
Congrats, Pig Mind. Your sexism is exceedingly DULL.
So, since this is about a month old, here are a bunch of links to check out: