Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Won't Miss #306 - carb and calorie bombs

This plain-looking bit of sponge cake is a calorie bomb waiting to explode onto your thighs.

Early on in my time in Japan, most products did not have complete nutritional data on them. In particular, calorie information was not commonly given. These days, you find it on most, but not all foods. Generally, mass-produced food by major companies have such information, but traditional snacks or foods made by smaller places do not. Back when I first got here, I tried to gauge the caloric impact of a food by its sweetness or size. If it wasn't very big or sweet, I figured, "it can't be too bad." When it comes to the rows and rows of not-too-sweet packaged pastries that fill the shelves of convenience stores and supermarkets, I couldn't have been more wrong. One of my favorites was a steamed cake that I have pictured above. It's about 10 cm/4 in. in diameter, has no filling or frosting, and is only lightly sweet. I ate a lot of these back in the day. Now I know that they are 460 calories apiece and won't touch them. These pastries are monster carb and calorie bombs despite the fact that they look and taste like they'd be much less bad for you than say, a Twinkie. You can actually eat three Twinkies for the caloric cost of the sponge cake above (and still come out 10 calories below) and they both have trans fats.

I won't miss these calorific pastries.