Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Tasting Notes 11
Hidden between the larger okashi in my goody box were a number of chewy sweets, with different fruit flavours. I think the packets will give you a good idea of what the flavours were:

haichu0005

(Sorry, I put the grape in upside-down.)

The intriguing thing here is that the flavours are written in English transliterated into katakana, rather than in Japanese. There's a perfectly good Japanese word for 'strawberry', for example, namely 'ichigo'; but here it's been spelt ストロベリー (sutoroberii). The same is true of the grape and green apple flavours. Well, a lot of English words do make it into Japanese by this route, I suppose. English is cool, for some reason.

Where it gets interesting is with the pear flavour, which is named, not ペアー (which is what 'pear' would look like transliterated into katakana), nor yet 梨 (nashi), which is the actual Japanese for 'pear', but ラ。フランス, which spells out 'La France'.

I had to look this up, but it turns out that 'La France' is the name of the most famous pear variety in Japan, and is grown mostly in Yamagata Prefecture. It is indeed French in origin - but of course, in France itself it's called something quite different (Claude Blanchet), as is often the way.

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