What’s Your Favorite Candy?

“Do you like Kit Kats? As Russell Goldman reports in a new Times section called What in the World, in Japan there are nearly 300 varieties.

Japan Has a Kit Kat for Every Taste, and Then Some” reads:

This is pretty much all anyone needs to know about the popularity of Kit Kat in Japan: There are nearly 300 varieties.

In addition to the (dare we call them) classics, like wasabi and purple sweet potato, new flavors are regularly introduced. In February, Nestlé, which distributes the candy in Japan, released a sake flavor in time for Valentine’s Day.

For a few weeks in December, shops sold a single stick, not the classic duo, covered in dark chocolate and coated with gold leaf for 2,016 yen, or about $16.

Even for a country where shoppers can find fish-ball-flavored Pringles and adzuki bean-flavored Pepsi, actual gold candy seems extreme, but the Kit Kat holds a special place in Japan’s culinary universe.

Kit Kat’s name echoes the Japanese phrase “kitto katsu,” or “surely win” and is often sent as a gift to students before college entrance exams. It is the country’s most popular candy, according to Nestlé, which does not release sales figures.

Kit Kat is so popular that it is sold at high-end department stores, Kit Kat-only specialty shops and even post offices, and it is so ingrained in the nation’s snack culture that nearly every region has a signature flavor sold only in that part of the country.

As a result a hungry traveler could eat scores of different flavors of Kit Kat. Here is but a sample of recently available flavors:

Adzuki Bean · Apple · Blueberry · Butter · Cheesecake · Chili · Coconut · Edamame · Green Tea · Green Tea (Sakura) · Green Tea (Uji) · Hazelnut · Kobe Pudding · Matcha · Miso · Passion Fruit · Pear · Perfect Balance Citrus (orange, lemon, lime) · Plum · Purple Sweet Potato · Roasted Tea · Rum Raisin · Strawberry · Strawberry Maple · Wasabi

Students: In one good paragraph answer the following prompts. Begin with an interesting and creative lead sentence. Make sure your sentences are complete and make sense. End your paragraph with a thoughtful concluding sentence. Do not end with asking a question. You may comment on others’ posts if you like.

— Which of the Japanese Kit Kat flavors listed above would you most like to taste? Why?

— What are your favorite candies now? When you were younger? Why?

— Are there candies you have particular associations with or memories of? Tell us about one of them.”

(Image and article courtesy of the NY Times Learning Network)

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.39.31 AM

What is Your Human Footprint?

Hi Students,

You will need the Puffin browser to view this National Geographic multimedia website on your iPad.

Did you know that during the course of your lifetime you will eat about 12,000 oranges? These oranges will travel a total of about 23 million miles to reach your fruit bowl or glass of OJ. Shipping fruit takes energy. Energy comes from fuel. Everything that you eat (bread), use (newspapers), and do (take showers) has an impact on the world. This impact is called your human footprint. While there’s no need to swear off oranges, and, please, don’t stop bathing, this interactive will help you learn about how you live and the impact it will have over your lifetime. (Courtesy of National Geographic)

Have fun exploring this website and be sure to click on Look Behind the Scenes to watch video and see other images.

The Human Footprint

You will have twenty-five minutes to explore this website. Please answer the following questions in one good paragraph:

What did you learn?

What surprised you the most?

Is there anything you will change about your human footprint?

 

Your Ideal Bookshelf

Hi Students,

Pretend you have an empty bookshelf in your room. From all the books you have read this year, which top three (3) would make your ideal bookshelf? Be sure to give the title of each book (using capital letters and enclosed within quotation marks) and explain why each book earns the honor of being on your ideal bookshelf. Three small paragraphs. (Remember to put in an extra return to indicate a new paragraph)

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.48.41 AM

What Would You Cook in a Tiny Kitchen?

“They’ve fried hard shell tacos, made a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup, even whipped up a batch of rainbow sprinkle-covered doughnuts. In an age of molecular gastronomy, this may not seem like culinary genius. But on Tiny Kitchen, everything is cooked in a dollhouse kitchen roughly 1/12 the normal size.

Now in its second season, the popular online video series is produced by media group Tastemade. Jay Holzer, head of production, says the idea for a tiny cooking show came from one of Tastemade’s Japanese partners, who sent them a box filled with a tiny stove, tiny utensils, and a set of tiny cutting boards. Miniatures have long been popular in Japan due to the cultural dominance of kawaii,or all things cute, but making minuscule edible food — rather than polymer clay copies — is the newest incarnation of that trend. (A quick search of YouTube reveals several similar tiny cooking shows that appear to be from Japan.)

One of Tastemade’s food stylists, Hannah Aufman, now works on Tiny Kitchen exclusively. The show has also commissioned a special kitchen from a dollhouse maker in Germany. Once the crew finds a tiny working oven and a tiny barbecue, the Tiny Kitchen folks plan to continue expanding their tiny culinary repertoire.

A lot more goes into creating a new recipe than math. In addition to rewriting existing recipes to fit the mini serving sizes, Aufman is responsible for jury-rigging ways to fry teensy taco shells (she bends a paper clip into something like a frying basket) or figuring out how to deal with eggs (use part of a quail egg, the smallest commercially available variety).

And forget gas or electricity — this mini stove is heated by a tealight. Since the volume of food being cooked is so small, the candle provides more than enough energy to melt butter or boil water. In fact, things often cook too quickly. Burgers take no more than a few seconds on each side.

“You can’t regulate the heat,” Holzer says. “It’s either ‘hot as a tealight’ or no heat at all.” Luckily, the crew is quick with their tiny spatulas and ladles — utensils that are often not much bigger than a fingernail.” (Courtesy of NPR)

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.47.53 PM

In one good paragraph, if you were to cook in a tiny kitchen, what would you make and why? And how would you do this?