Karikari Pickled Plums

Brand: Tomoguchi

Cost: 100 yen

Found At: Kyoto Daiso

This is not food. I do not understand why this is advertised as food. Everything about these crunchy, pickled plums is wrong. Foremost is the crunch. It is not the crunch of an apple, it is not the crunch of a carrot – it is the crunch of unripe fruit that absolutely should not be eaten. It’s the snap of regret, followed shortly by the flavor of foreboding. It tastes exactly like an unripe plum – bitter and sour and unappetizing in every way. Other than being pink, these plums show no evidence of preparation at all, which is not unsettling because they are also shelf stable. No matter how many times I have one – in plum wine, as a refreshing summer snack, as a genuine mistake – I can never figure out why anyone would eat them. And I have never met anyone who does eat them – even the pickled plum lovers in my life draw the line at karikari plums. The only conclusion I can come to is that no one doeseat them. That they are, in fact, a type of non-biodegradable packing material. It’s the only explanation. Because – and I cannot stress this enough – these cannot be food.

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