January 27

Ghostly Strawberries: Three for $9.00

With the current wretched exchange rate, if I’d sprung for these gems, they would have cost me about $3 a bite. As you can see from the corners of the boxes right above them, they haven’t replaced the regular ripe-looking ones in the hearts and minds of Japanese consumers, but despite the price, these novelties were disappearing from the shelves of Meidi-ya like popsicles on a hot summer day.

Three things Japanese people prize in food (especially produce) are 1) perfection, 2) novelty and 3) the first ones of the season. These albino berries apparently hit the trifecta.

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