Tuesday, July 29, 2008

News You May Have Missed: Liquid Eel for Summer Refreshment

I drive a Japanese car, and I almost like sushi, but I don't think I'll be stocking the refrigerator with the latest Japanese creation:

TOKYO (AP) — It's the hottest season of the year in Japan, and that means it's eel season. So, bottom's up!

A canned drink called "Unagi Nobori," or "Surging Eel," made by Japan Tobacco Inc., hit the nation's stores this month just ahead of Japan's annual eel-eating season, company spokesman Kazunori Hayashi said Monday.

"It's mainly for men who are exhausted by the summer's heat," Hayashi said of the beverage, believed to be the first mass-produced eel drink in Japan.

Many Japanese believe eating eel boosts stamina in hot weather.

The fizzy, yellow-colored drink contains extracts from the head and bones of eel and five vitamins — A, B1, B2, D and E — contained in the fish.


Demand for eel is so high that Japan has been hit by scores of eel fraud cases, including a recent high-profile incident in which a government ministry publicly scolded two companies for mislabeling eel imported from China as being domestically grown.

... The $1.30 drink costs about one-tenth as much as broiled eel, but has a similar flavor.

Eel extract is also used in cookies and pies made in Japan's biggest eel producing town, Hamamatsu.

Yum. Eel cookies for dessert!
Source: Associated Press. Slightly edited for brevity.

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