It's hot today at the Weird Soda Lab. You'd think that this would be expected in the San Diego area, yet it always seems to take people by surprise. When it's hot like this, one looks for something cool, crisp, and refreshing. Something which will dry the sweat beaded upon one's brow.
I have found something whose label I cannot read.
In my pilgrimage to Mitsuwa, I began filling my cart with anything which looked particularly Weird. There was no paucity of candidates; Mitsuwa is long on Weird stuff. But this one stood out as something particularly weird.
First, the name. The bottle is in Japanese, which I cannot read, but the little stick-on label for gaijin says it's "Gabunomi Melon Cream Soda". I like cream soda, and I like melon a lot. I've never seen them together...but it's right in line with our mission.
Second, the color. At first, I thought it was the bottle. It's not--the soda itself is actually a milky, opaque spring green.
Third, the label. (Click for higher-resolution image)
It seems to be a picture from something called "One Piece". I've never heard of it, but based on the image, I'm guessing the plot revolves around the Dread Pirate Vestman, who is extremely frustrated by the fact that Slash (who he picked up from Aerosmith) has been possessed by Baron Samedi and is singing opera.
The top five ingredients are carbonated water, sugar, glucose (sugar), powdered milk, and fructose (sugar). Melon flavor is lower on the list.
I can't wait.
Where and when: purchased 4/18/09 at Mitsuwa Marketplace, San Diego, CA
Color: opaque bright lime green, like key lime pie.
Scent: Hmm. Actually, it smells a lot like key lime pie, too. Or maybe bubblegum. The Kibbitzer-in-Chief and Lead Assistant Tester say it smells like bubble gum, specifically Bazooka. I can smell it, but there's something fruity too. That must be the melon. Or maybe they were dyslexic and put in lemon instead. And a miky creamy scent.
Taste: A bit more tart than the smell. That may be the melon (it does taste a bit more like melon than it smells), but it might actually be the slight tart/cheesiness of the milk. It's sweet, and the bubblegum is there, but there is a taste which is actually pretty reminiscent of honeydew melon.
Lead Assistant: "(tastes) Bleah. (tastes) Tastes like carbonated bubblegum. (tastes some more) I like it."
The carbonation is very light.
This is odd, but actually fairly nice. The taste is mostly bubble gum, with honeydew melon and milkiness underneath, followed by the faintest hint of cheese. Aftertaste is mostly melon and milk; the bubblegum fades fast. The cheesiness is not as unpleasant as it sounds. It has virtually none of the musk of melon. The cheesiness is probably the protein in the powdered milk.
The Lab staff is now debating whether one could make a drinkable cheese soda. The K-i-C believes that one could make a cottage-cheese soda which would be not unlike boba (which we both dislike). I think that you'd be better off with trying to go for cheddar.
If anyone can find cheese soda, I'll give it a try.
Quaff rating: 2.5. Drinkable, if odd. The cheesiness is weird, especially with the bubble gum, but it works together surprisingly well.
Cough rating: 1.5. If you weren't prepared for this, it would be a bit much.
EDIT, 9:32 pm: after a bit of research, I have discovered that "One Piece" is a very famous manga series in Japan. The hero's name is "Monkey D. Luffy." I kid you not.
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