It’s no secret that duck and I love pretzels. Just thinking about them is relaxing for us. That’s why they made it into our story about Cat, our hat-selling dog, that our friend A. helped us come up with in our early days in Tokyo. So, when we learned about Bäckerei Kaffee Linde in Kichijoji, we were super excited to try their German pretzels. They even had a designated pretzel day with an attractive discount on our baked bringers of happiness. Naturally, this became one of the duck and my favorite shops in Tokyo. One pretzel day, we decided to get an extra pretzel for our lovely housemate Mm. She wasn’t there when we got home, so we left it on the dining table together with a short note in our best Japanese (concerning the Japanese language, our “best” is the average person’s “terrible”). We knew that, when it comes to pretzels, there’s no need for many words or small talk – Cat conversed with the pretzel shop owner using nothing but images! As expected, Mm understood the note. And the duck and I like to think that that day, the universal pretzel fan club gained a new member. 5/5 pretzels for a baked love most pure! ♥🥨🧡🥨♥
Strictly speaking, the picture doesn’t even show a snack the duck and I enjoyed at home (though there was a pretzel in our bedroom when I snapped this quick shot of Mm’s pretzel-to-be). This might be a new low in our series about foods we’ve eaten outside our home.
Well, that’s nothing a delicious pretzel won’t fix! 😀
The matcha the duck and I currently use claims to be from Uji. So, whenever we make ourselves a relaxing cup of oat matcha latte, we remember that time we enjoyed a delicious cup of Uji matcha in Uji, “the town where the most beautiful matcha lives”(according to some weirdo in a video)! We briefly mentioned this mouthwatering matcha memory in the audiovisual report about our short Kyoto stint many years ago. However, we think it’s too deliciously beautiful to not share again. Uji was one of the last stops during our cold Kyoto autumn adventure. Sitting at that charming tea shop called Ocha no Kanbayashi, enjoying a cup of Uji matcha, and chatting with our lovely Kyoto travel companions made the duck and me sad that this terrific trip was ending. It did make for one of our favorite Japan memories, though, visual and culinary (not for the cold, however, that we still felt in our bones days after we had returned to Tokyo). Five (aromatic tea) leaves for this extraordinary experience! 🍃♥🍁♥🍃
The duck and I can’t wait for our next Japan adventure – whenever that may be.
What are your favorite gustatory memories?
This is a photo the duck and I like to look at whenever we need a reminder that terrible days have the potential to end sweetly:
Two years ago, I shared a photo from a spontaneous Shinjuku pancake afternoon with our sugar-appreciation-pals. I also mentioned that on the way home, my ankle was hurting so badly that I was moving at a painful pace of 600 mph, meters per hour, that is. Fortunately, the duck (who had waddled ahead and was waiting for me at the front door while listening to a whole episode of The Truth) and I had a movie night with our housemates to look forward to on my slow waddle home from the station. Once we saw what Mm had bought for the occasion – fancy cakes and mixed nuts, a true delicacy in expensive Tokyo – the duck and I were a bit ashamed for only contributing popcorn. Despite that shame and my aching ankle (that was responsible for more than one mistimed tear as we watched the action movie we had decided on), I have fond memories of this movie night nearly four years ago ♪
5/5 popcorn kernels for our kind, exceptional housemates and a positively memorable evening ♪
(0/5 sneaky tears for the post-Akita ankle pain)
The duck and I miss our time in Tokyo. I would even put up with another week of not being able to walk and the constant risk of drowning in my own tears of pain if that meant a few cozy days at our Tokyo place filled with movies, housemate chats, and all those delicious Japanese treats ♥
It’s that time of year again when the duck and I like to reminisce about all the lovely cakes we’ve eaten. Last year we shared a photo of the first set of beautiful cake slices we ordered with our fabulous friend C over pizza and water at Pizzeria Mar de Napoli at Tokyo Dome City – four years ago! Those chocolate cakes will forever be the first thing that comes to mind when the duck and I think about our Tokyo pizza dinners. This (what I believe is a) mille crepe fruit cake, however, was pretty nice, too. Especially because fruit was a rare treat for a chronically poor duck and me in Tokyo. This might have been the last time we went to our favorite Tokyo pizza place before leaving Japan. We also had to share this cake with one additional person, which is never fun when precious fruit is involved… 3/5 ducks for a bittersweet memory ・✧ 🍰 ✧・
Maybe the duck and I should eat out more. It’s getting predictable just how many photos from our glamorous life as poor Tokyo (suburb) dwellers the duck and I share on here these days. Maybe we shouldn’t eat out more and instead share photos of at-home snacks exclusively? Either way, there’s no shame. My cow shall remain honorable.
The duck and I rediscovered this picture on our phone the other day: About four years ago, when we were still quite new to Tokyo, our housemate brought a box of vegan cookies for us all to share. He got it at a Tokyo bakery called foodmood that specializes in beautiful and immensely delicious baked goods perfect for gifting or as omiyage. This mix of cookies, crackers, and granola tasted divine. And we felt extra fancy to be munching luxurious vegan cookies at home (I think this is the same box they are still occasionally selling these days – with peanut butter cookies, maple granola, chocolate-coconut cookies, nori-cashew crackers, ginger cookies, and black sesame sticks… and a serious price tag). If we ever make it back to Japan, the duck and I might actually invest in one of these fancy cookie boxes ourselves, and, ideally, share it with friends to literally pay it forward. 5/5 duck-shaped cookies for this amazing flavor experience and the opportunity to feel truly fancy. Thanks, old new housemate! ✳✧✳✧✳
When the duck and I first started putting these kinds of food posts on here, we did it as a bit of an inside joke because our friends knew that we weren’t the kind of people who would eat at fancy places and then post the aesthetically pleasing proof on Instagram. Well, as it turns out, we have started snapping photos in the few instances that we encountered photogenic food since. And we have come to mean it when we write that “we have started following @foodmoodshop on Instagram and are now obsessed with looking at all those pretty photos of cookies and cakes that they post.” I guess that’s like all those times I started using a word or phrase ironically, to later find it has snuck its way into non-ironic everyday conversation. Oh well…
Fall has come once again, and the duck and I miss our beloved Japanese seasonal autumn snacks even more this year. Just look at this beautiful treat that we got to devour four years ago, sitting on a canopied bench under a pretty autumn afternoon sun after a fun exploration tour of an area we had never been to. Even though we got it at a local grocery store, we felt truly fancy when we ate this maple syrup sweet potato rice cake (at least that’s what our translator app told us this is)! 5/5 sweet potato stuffed ducks for the sweetness of Japanese autumn in a bite (and many more after that)! 🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁
The duck and I still aren’t eating out a lot, especially since we don’t really like it all that much if catching up with a friend is not involved. So, there might be even more solitary or inside snack reports in the near future of this blog. What about you? Do you like eating out? Are there any foods that you miss?
This is embarrassing. Usually, the duck and I are too proud to even consider posting obviously shaky snapshots on here (shaky is for videos only), but we’re running out of photographic memories of tasty snacks we’ve eaten, so now we have to resort to fuzzy photos of fabulous outside foods we ate at home (apologies to your eyes – wait! I know! – let’s make this ‘art’ and call it a ‘nearsightedness-simulation’):
One Tokyo spring day, the duck and I came home to a lovely little dessert waiting for us: a Mille-feuille Pie with Strawberry & Chocolate from La Petite Mercerie in one of the Shinjuku Lumines. Our exceptional housemate Mm had bought it for a photographic project. But instead of eating her model herself afterward, she decided to give it to us. The duck and I were so thrilled and surprised that we took a single shaky shot of our lovely pie before devouring it. It was delicious! First of all, eating strawberries as a persistently poor person in Japan always feels like a treat which is why they were our favorite part, especially paired with the puff pastry pieces and the custard-/whipped cream topping. The layers of puff pastry, chocolate cakes, and -mousse tasted divine and made this one of the fanciest desserts the duck and I have ever had. This is why we decided to give this delectable memory a home on this blog, even though the photo doesn’t even remotely measure up to the taste. 4/5 ducks, only because of the mundane ambiance of our bedroom (but with leftover happiness about our lovely house mate).
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I wonder if the duck and I will ever eat out again. Only time (and our motivation) will tell…
Our friend N’s birthday is in April. So, every year around this time, the duck and I reminisce about the Kokubunji coffee tour – in our coffee snob period – that we went on a few days before we were to leave Tokyo. After having had one of the best iced coffees of our lives at Life Size Cribe, we sat down for an Amanatsu (a Japanese citrus fruit) peel and Camomile muffin served with tofu cream at Café Slow while N, keeping with the actual theme of our outing, had her second cup of lovely coffee. This muffin was super satisfying, and getting to see a bit of Kokubunji was just as great! 5/5 ducks for an amazing coffee-themed afternoon in an area we should have explored much sooner! ☆★☆★☆
We can’t wait to continue our Kokubunji exploration and coffee snobbery, hopefully in the not too distant future!
When we were living in Tokyo the duck and I loved to spend evenings with C, one of our favorite Tokyo people and the initiator of the sugar-appreciation-pals, having vivid conversations over some pizza and water at Pizzeria Mar de Napoli at Tokyo Dome City. We mainly had pizza because we wanted to consider ourselves as grown-ups who eat real food before ordering cake. But, really, the cake usually was the nutritive highlight of our late dinners. This photo is from the first time we ordered some. The duck and I got a dense chocolate cake while our friend went with a light chocolate cake with chocolate cream that she let us try. 5/5 Ducks for glorious cake and conversations ♥
The duck and I love looking back at our time in Tokyo. We had a lot of fun there and the opportunity to hang out with friends without worrying about getting anyone sick. We can’t wait to go back to eating overpriced restaurant food and meeting up with all the people we haven’t seen in way too long!
It’s been snowing so often this winter that the duck and I aren’t impressed anymore, not as much as we were when we saw our first snow in Tokyo anyway. If anyone had asked me back then what I’d miss about living in Japan I might have said something along the lines of Konbini, beautiful seasons, awesome snacks, train adventures, travel opportunities, or my work. I do. What I currently miss most profoundly, however, is our Tokyo toilet! I’m not talking about one of those high-end toilets with all those fancy controls that probably require a thorough perusal of the manual before you can fully appreciate them; our toilet didn’t even have the built-in water recycling washing sink that many toilets in Japanese homes sport. It simply came with a function that I didn’t even know about until one of our housemates had decided to make use of it in the middle of winter and forgot to turn it off: a toilet seat heater! The only heating in the house came from the AC units in each bedroom and the living room (noticeably not the kitchen, hallway, toilet-room or shower room) that provided such a fleeting heat that ten minutes after pressing the ‘off’ button on the remote, it felt as if the room had not been heated in weeks. Leaving the heated area of the house was something the duck and I actively dreaded. This new discovery, fortunately, gave us another room that we didn’t feel the urge to leave asap in fear of ending up as ice sculptures. The tiny toilet room had turned into one of my favorite rooms in the house! Now, whenever I find myself in a cold bathroom, I think back longingly to those days when the toilet seat heater was the #1 thing that made winter in an older Japanese house more bearable (it also provided a toasty resting spot for the duck).