September 29

Not Your Mom’s PB&J

No, that’s not a peanut butter sandwich that was abandoned in the fridge last winter behind the eggplant pickles and the half dozen half-empty packets of various kinds of miso. The black stuff is kurogoma butter, made from toasted black sesame seeds.

Of course you can get peanut butter in Japan, but the shelves are filled with so many more exotic options: kinako butter (made with roasted soybean powder), melon butter, choco butter and three kinds of sugar toast butter: plain, maple and cinnamon.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.