Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Not counting the Virginia Tech shootings, the death of Boris Yeltsin, the shooting of Nagasaki's governor by a jilted yakuza, the firing of Don Imus, the discovery of "Super-Earth" and a day-long police standoff in Machida (which happened on a day when I happened to be teaching in Machida), it's been a slow news month.

Until now, that is.

Japanese Wendy's restaurants have unveiled something that should have remained veiled: A sweet bean burger. Called the "Anburger" (using the Japanese word "an" which means "sweet bean paste"), this culinary monstrosity defies food logic with its unholy trinity of sweet red beans, cheese and -- dear God, is that mayonnaise?

Something I learned very early in my Japan experience was that I don't care for anything an. It's a shame because the sticky purple paste, sometimes called azuki, is a staple ingredient in traditional Japanese sweets. It's everywhere. You can find it in donuts, cookies, pastries and cake. And burgers.

To make an already unusual story even more so, when I first saw the advertisement for the Anburger, I misread it. In the image above, the purple heading says "ANBURGER" and beneath that it says, "Oniku no kawari ni AN wo iretemimashita" (translation: "We tried using AN instead of meat"). But because of the font used in the ad, the word an very much looks like the word are, which means "that." In the sentence beneath the heading, the word an is in Japanese quotation marks to give it emphasis...but when you put emphasis on the word are, it sounds like a euphemism for something nasty or dirty or sexual. So the sentence could be misread as "We tried using you-know-what instead of meat."

Technorati: anburger

No comments: