I was thinking the other night about buying milk in Japan.
It wasn’t an easy task initially – I looked up the right words to find and everything, because nothing was super obviously milk in the store, and because I had been told that there were various types of cow milk sold in Japan.
And so, having looked up my info, I went to the grocer with my words to recognize real ‘milk’, and I was confident in my chances of finding milk.
You see, I thought this one section was the milk.
And I was right… mostly… it was the milk section.
But it was also the section for many other beverages of various similarities and differences to and from milk.
I don’t drink milk, you see, so I had always just bought the almond milk, which was easy for me to figure out.
But, when I was making pralines as a gift for my weekend host family, I needed milk, so I went and bought one that was ‘100% natural’ (or something much like that), because that was what I had learned as the differentiating factor in the weird milks versus the good/real milks).
The pralines were good, but a little sweeter, thinner than I’d expected – it was my first time making them myself, though, so it was easily a possibility that they were just always like that for the recipe I was using.
A week or so (or less) later, a friend was over, and I offered her the carton of the remaining milk (which was kind of a lot), and she accepted (remember that I don’t drink milk).
Somehow, it comes out – I think she might have poured herself some milk or sniffed it and then poured it to check or something – that the milk is really off… the color is totally wrong, and it is definitely not milk.
(Actually, I think it was more than a week later, and so we’d figured the milk was bad, and she was pouring it out in the sink… or maybe that wasn’t how it happened… I’ll have to check to see if she remembers…)
Turns out, it is juice – 100% natural juice suddenly makes much more sense to me than ‘100% natural’ milk – and it makes perfect sense about the pralines having been a little off.
I was actually surprised the pralines were any good at all, let alone quite delicious, seeing as how I had filled them with some juice mixture instead of milk!
We had a good laugh over our sudden discovery.
I was sure, therefore, to look up the specifics of milk cartons when I was making pralines a second time, this time for a goodbye present for all my local friends and my coworkers.
Fortunately, it worked out properly this time around, and the pralines were even more delicious, and they totally blew people’s minds (because pralines are definitely not a thing in Japan).