Japanese History at its Chocolatiest : Lost In Digestion Takes on E-su Kamon CookiesOctober 23, 2018
- Lars RoxasWords
This is Lost in Digestion; where we do a quick review of the oddest-looking mystery eats available from the many Asian groceries all over the Metro. From Japanese Vagina Bread (if you’re at work, don’t click that link or this one; they”re NSFW to the highest degree) to our very own Pepsi Pogi (what is it supposed to be, exactly?), we got you covered.
E-su Kamon is, by far, one of the most interesting things I’ve ever reviewed for Lost in Digestion. That’s what the characters in the middle say by the way, E-su Kamon. I had a lot of fun researching about this snack, so I hope you guys forgive me if I digress a little bit.
E-su is just the engrish version of the word “ace,” while Kamon refers to the unique family symbols used by the Japanese aristocracy to identify their families. Put together, I figure they roughly translate to “Magnificent Emblem!” or something similar. On the battlefield, the samurai also use the crests as army-standards. Kamon are analogous to the coat-of-arms that the Starks (direwolves!) or the Lannisters (lions!) use on Game of Thrones, only more Kenshin Himura and less Jon Snow.
They’re little chocolate cookies with pretty pictures of flowers on them, who wouldn’t want to eat those?
The great thing is that those intricate cookie designs become infinitely cooler upon closer inspection. The small row of text next to the label roughly transliterates to Sengoku Jidai Hen. A quick later, and I’m hopelessly (but happily) lost in Japanese history. Meant to commemorate the Warring States period of Japan’s past, each Kamon design used on the cookies corresponds to a particular prominent family during the divisive uprising, and later reunification of the country. If you look at the back of the packaging, they even have small blurbs describing the roles of each clan in the conflict.
I wasted quite a bit of time re-enacting various historical events using the cookies. I’d line them up like little armies, and I’d only eat the ones that history says lost at this or that battle.
Taste and Texture
The cookies are cocoa flavored, as the little Japanese text box on the left side proudly declares. While they neither have the deepest, nor the most sophisticated cocoa taste, for PHP 88 bag of convenience store sweets, it was chocolate-y enough for me.
The taste and the texture actually remind me of the generic knock-off Oreos you can sometimes buy at the grocery, albeit after your little sister had gotten to them first, and had subsequently licked off all the vanilla filling without you knowing. E-su Kamon cookies are also fantastic with milk. They turn soft, like undercooked brownies, without self-destructing and committing cookie suicide.
E-su Kamon contains 490 calories for every 250gram bag filled with chocolate cookies, cocoa powder, bite-sized history lessons, and the faint aftertaste of samurai clashing over a battlefield. That’s a fairly good trade in my book.
Lost in Digestion gives E-su Kamon an honorable Seven Samurai out of Seven Samurai.
E-su Kamon cookies taste good, look cool, and aren’t really that expensive considering that they’re imported niche products. It also made me look up and learn about Japanese history, something that probably made both the departed ghosts of my Japanese ancestry and the manufacturers of the snack at least a little happy.
However, most importantly, it made me want to re-watch Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, a film about the same historical period in Japan. For that alone, it deserves all the awards everywhere forever.
Seriously, go watch the movie. It’s awesome. And do it with a bag of E-su Kamon cookies on your lap, and a glass of cold milk by your side. I guarantee you won’t regret it.