Junk Food Review 2

Over the years, one of the most popular features on Sinosplice has been the Junk Food Review that Wilson and I did at ZUCC in 2002. There have been calls for an encore, but since Wilson went back to San Francisco it’s been a little hard to coordinate. Well, the trip to Taipei was a perfect opportunity. Here it is:

Junk Food Review 2

The new design is sort of an experimental “comic book feel” I came up with. The layout looks better under non-IE browsers because stupid IE doesn’t support the “position: fixed” CSS declaration. Enjoy, and feedback is welcome.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Good stuff, John…I like the comic style layout, too. These show what I learned when visiting China…that Chinese snack food, by and large, sucks (at least, to a Westerner’s palate).

  2. FreeJack,

    Thanks. To be fair, though, not all of it was Chinese. Some was Japanese for sure, and I don’t know where some of the stuff was made. But it was all bought in a Taipei convenience store.

  3. John,

    Wow, that post was top notch, an absolute flurry of priceless comments (“I was not prepared for the simultaneous sensations of sweet and NASTY that assaulted my senses” being my favourite) and just the right dose of sarcasm.

    You are brave men for having assaulted your digestive systems with the Hello Kitty Strawberry Puff Ice Cream. The package alone tells me it belongs in the trash.

  4. Little Mommie Says: February 26, 2005 at 11:21 pm

    Got a BIG kick out of the non-verbal ratings. The facial expressions had me chuckling out loud. (Is that COL?)

  5. great layout design, the comic book feel really fits the “product” well.

  6. schtickyrice Says: February 27, 2005 at 3:01 am

    The papaya milk brought back memories of “fruit” milk last time I was in Taiwan. The one I tried was vaguely pink colored, with an unindentifiable “fruit” taste…like PeptoBismol.

  7. Da Xiangchang Says: February 27, 2005 at 3:07 am

    Always hilarious, though the dried squid from the first junk review definitely looked tastiest. (Cuz I’d had some, and it’s goooooooooooood.)

  8. Stickyrice,

    The fruit flavored milk wasn’t bad. I tried the apple flavored milk. Though it was a unique departure from traditional milk, I’ll take an ice cold glass of bluetop (New Zealand cream top) whole milk over it any day. Have you tried Very Vanilla Soymilk??? About as good as Cinnamon Toast Crunch on the taste scale, better try, combine the two for a sweet blast of heaven in the morning.

  9. John,
    Great layout and graphic design, what program did you use to cut those head shots?

  10. I’m betting the industry standard, Adobe Photoshop.

  11. Yup, I used Photoshop for everything.

  12. Wilson,

    I must say I have a fondness for whole non-homogenized milk. We don’t have access to NZ milk here in Canada, but there are still a few organic dairies around that produce whole milk in glass bottles with the cream on top. As far as soy milk goes, I tend to stick to the plain unflavoured kind that you can get in Chinese grocery stores. I find the soy or rice based milk substitutes that you find in health food stores absolutely disgusting. Personally, the whole point of drinking soy milk is to get away from the thick unrefreshing film that coats your tongue from mammalian milk. Why anyone would want to add carrageenan or other thickeners to soy milk is beyond me.

  13. Da Xiangchang Says: February 28, 2005 at 4:30 am

    Speaking of junk food, are the Oscars a big deal in China? They’re junk food for the mind. You know it’s bad for you, but still fascinating.

  14. Wilson and John,

    Great shit as always!

  15. Kikko:

    Thanks! Wipe thoroughly on your way out =)


    Isn’t Chris Rock hosting the Oscar’s this year? Chris Rock or Tucker — funny-ass comedians.

    Re: Soy Milk

    Just picked up the “Chinatown” soymilk yesterday at Ranch 99 in El Cerrito for a buck and change. It comes in a half gallon (wild guess) plastic jug and usually has a red cap and if they aren’t hot/warm when you purchase it, it’s stored in the fridge section with the orange juice and milk. The one I got yesterday had a seal on it after the cap came off but typically aren’t “fresh/protection sealed” as it’s so fresh as of the day when you purchase it.

    Anyways, you can get it salty or sweet and I’ll take it sweet – usually rock candy or cane sugar sweetened. Raw Honey is the ideal way to sweeten – think Manuka Honey (also from NZ).

    One thing about Soymilk is that it’s the same as DouJiang and DouNai when you’re dunking Chinese fried sticks into Soymilk at brunch or the midnight hour on the street booths.

    But if you try a fresh American made soymilk (usually organic certified and not the stuff that is boxed and unrefrigerated) brands such as SILK or VITASOY or CLOVER, you’ll get a much more wholesome, thick and crisp taste than the Chinese traditional soymilk.

    Try it — oh, and the VERY VANILLA soymilk i talked about is from SILK … back when I was bench pressing 300lbs. and leg pressing 700 lbs. in college, I used to drink a half gallon a day and eat 3 egg whites and a couple cans of tuna/hot chili sauce daily. PROTEIN is the reason.

  16. i enjoyed it just as much as the first one, which is definitely a compliment!

  17. Da Xiangchang Says: February 28, 2005 at 10:14 am


    You were benchpressing 300 pounds?!! Get the $#%^#^%@ outta here! Impressive, impressive. How many reps? Leg-pressing poundage is also impressive, but how much could you squat? 😛

    Yeah, Chris Rock is funny. He adds a “black touch” to the Oscars that’s positively hilarious.

  18. Wilson, its adobe I see. I have Ulead photo shop. No wonder I couldn’t cut an object out of the background.

  19. 300lbs. was MAX, don’t get that twisted. Word of caution for those intent on building up their chest due to small-man inferiority complex: don’t work the pecs too much because you’ll get man-tits! Like Arnold said: Proportion, if you add to the arms, you need to add everywhere else to keep it even. NO: Seen those guys with huge torsos and chicken legs? Just wrong.

    Leg days, didn’t do squats – mostly because I didn’t want to become a cripple.

    Was eating a bowl of mi bo kho pho tonight and noticed that the oscars were on TV at the same time. Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz on the stage at the same time: WOOT! Someone remarked that her hair was wrong for her dress because the viewers couldn’t see her eyes. I was happy to reply that it wasn’t a problem as most viewers weren’t looking at her eyes 😉

  20. The tiny yogurt drink in the end is my favorite.

  21. Da Xiangchang Says: February 28, 2005 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Wilson. 😉 And don’t worry, I work my tits the old-fashioned way: pushups off the ground. No squats on leg days? Shame on you. 😉 I do dumbbell squats, though I’ll leave the poundage of those dumbbells unsaid since they’re far too embarrassing.

    The Oscars were great. Cruz and Hayek were gorgeous, but Oprah’s right, the hottest woman on stage was Halle Berry. She’s unbelievably beautiful. Next time I go to China, I need to take some pictures of hot black women (Halle Berry, Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, etc.) with me and show them around. I wonder if the Chinese would consider Halle Berry super-hot or would they pick a bland blonde like Gwyneth Paltrow. They’ll probably pick Paltrow, those poor deluded souls.

    I know one thing: these broads ain’t eating any Chinese junk food!

  22. Random Reader seZ:
    That is definately an awesome lay-out for your junkfood reveiw. I loved the various facial expressions. What IS Ju Rou?
    To add a bit about Soy milk…its all about the Chocolate Silk Soy milk. All the chocolate milk goodness, no insane stomache ache from chugging the bottle.

  23. Enjoyed the review and the layout. Can’t you guys find anything really disgusting to eat though? I think the first junkfood review had more stuff that looked awful.

  24. Phil,

    Good quesiton and thanks for the comment! That was one of the issues we ran into: finding the worst and nastiest; in fact, we didn’t include a number of goods in the review because there was no question they were undoubtedly good (e.g. Pocky G chocolate/berry). The Taiwan 7-Eleven only had so much and the limited selection plus we were pretty hungry so we ended up getting more good stuff that didn’t get reviewed because it was eaten. I vow that the next will be ‘disgustingly awful’.

  25. schtickyrice Says: March 1, 2005 at 9:44 am

    Is Ju ruo Taiwanese pinyin for zhurou? Looks like pork jerky anways…not one of my favorites.

  26. I thought China really liked Naomi Campbell and that she was well known. Xinhua calls Campbell a “Black Pearl” and they like to show photo galleries of her. But that may be because she’s part Chinese…

  27. Da Xiangchang Says: March 2, 2005 at 5:40 am


    Thanks for the wonderful photos! I especially like the third one where Campbell’s wearing a short skirt. She is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo hot. Maybe some Chinese men do like black women, but from the ones I’ve talked to, the enthusiasm seems to be lacking. Didn’t know Campbell was part Chinese, though. She’s what, 0.000000001% Chinese? 😉 Whatever the case, definitely need to get me some sweet dark chocolate. Once in Shanghai, I got very excited because my new neighbor was a black American woman. But when she finally arrived, I was . . . underwhelmed. Very nice girl, but let’s just say she was no Naomi. And I asked out this hot black teacher once in LA, but she turned me down. That )$##%&(!!! Someday, someday . . .

  28. Anonymous Says: March 2, 2005 at 8:21 am

    Mr Da,

    Let me guess, she was not impressed with the size of your…er, ego?

    BTW, black/asian intermarriage is not that uncommon at all, especially in places in the West Indies like Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana.

  29. schtickyrice Says: March 2, 2005 at 9:16 am

    P.S. The entire population of Madagascar is composed of varying degrees of intermarriage between Indonesian and African.

  30. Da Xiangchang Says: March 2, 2005 at 9:21 am

    See, that was the problem, she never got a chance to check out my . . . ego. If she had, she would’ve probably still rejected me, but at least, I could say I’ve once added a chocolate bar to my normal diet of Twinkies and hard-boiled eggs. (Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m just using metaphors based on surface colors her; I’ve never actually had foods that were shaped like eggs or Twinkies, thank God!)

    I’ve also met a girl from Madagascar in Shanghai! She was studying at Fudan, I think. She was small, smaller than most Chinese broads, but she was black and quite good in Mandarin. Unfortunately, she was the girlfriend of this short Japanese guy. Go figure.

    You know, what’s funny, everyone knows yellow fever, but there are famous Western men who ONLY go for black women. Robert DeNiro and Boris Becker are probably the most famous. I once read an article that Becker had a fling with a Russian model, and I was like, NO WAY!!! Then I checked her out on Google Images, and it was a BLACK Russian model. Haha.

  31. Don’t forget the most underrated R&B singer, JON B. — he’s all about the chocolate mocha flava’. His newest album is out, called “Stronger Everyday” … if you don’t remember who he is, just think back to the days BABYFACE was on MTV and try to remember a lean caucasian guy who looked a bit hispanic, wore baggy blue jeans, grew a slight beard, lulling his one-night stand in “Pretty Girl.”

    Pretty interesting that this junk food review turned to preference in ladies. So sweet, but so bad 😉

  32. Canton,

    Mine, too. I drank one, two, even three a day. They come in those cellophane wrapped 6-packs but they also come in larger varities in single format. It was surprising to see Yoplait (France) offer their own version but I haven’t seen it come to America. They sell the active culture in some Chinese markets but more often than not, they’re found in the frozen section which is befuddling because one might wonder what freezing does to the active cultures – good or bad, preserve or kill the beneficial bacteria?

  33. Wilson,

    Yoplait’s yogurt drink (called Yop if I recall correctly) is all over the place in Quebec, I spent years of my childhood downing that stuff.

    So I don’t know if the product has made it to California, but it’s definitely on the continent (although, come to thing of it, I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen it in the rest of Canada). Maybe it’s a french language thing or something. 🙂

  34. Loved the layout – it looked great on my IE, so I don’t know how much greater it would look otherwise. Thanks John, and thanks too to Wilson for being a willing participant again.

    Those Asian snack foods are always such a hit over here when I can get them in….. dried squid, yummy! (NOT!!!) I can’t get the kids to hardly TRY them.

    And too funny Da with your craving now for dark chocolate. ROFLOL

  35. schtickyrice Says: March 4, 2005 at 7:37 am


    YOP and Yoplait are readily available in other parts of Canada besides Quebec, at least in the big cities. However, I must admit there is a stronger market for probiotic/organic products in Quebec and the French connection may have something to do with it. There are easily ten different kinds of milk, both cow and goat varieties, with active bacterial culture at the local supermarket, not to mention kefir and creme fraiche.

  36. charlebrown Says: March 4, 2005 at 10:16 am

    I love the comparison of junk food… you got me rolling on the floor laughing at work.. I love the picture and can’t wait to book a flight to taiwan , china and hong kong.. I think my relative are wondering when i planning to visit..But I might do it soon.. thank for insight.. peace

  37. amy pasden, licensed massage therapist Says: March 5, 2005 at 2:15 pm

    re: The POST — looks fabulous, fun format, and can you bring back some of those cute chocolates next time you come home?
    speaking of asian foods, despite my picky palate, there were some foods i got very fond of in my 2 weeks visiting john in china. my favorite was that live culture yogurt drink. it was so good, like melted creamsicle! plus, i got to feel like i was being healthy. i was so excited when i was in the grocery store shortly after returning to the states and i saw a yogurt drink w/ live cultures that i bought the biggest bottle i could find. i must say that kefir canNOT compare! 🙁 it was not tasty, and the texture was all wrong — semi-thick with lumps. very sad. so the closest thing i’ve been able to find are all the yogurt smoothie drinks, which are quite good, but still not the same….

    re: MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT — man-breasts aside, there are very significant physiological reasons for balancing your workout. tight pecs (pectoralis muscles) are a very common problem, even if they don’t look over-developed. when people come in to our massage clinic complaining of knots in their shoulders, it is frequently the result of tight pecs. when the pecs get short-tight, they pull the rhomboids (inside edge of the shoulder blades) and portions of the trapezius into a long-tight position that weakens them, which starts a downward spiral w/ the pain being felt in the shoulders (but usually not the chest). additionally, tight pecs can restrict movement, primarily shoulder mobility. this is because the pecs attach on the upper part of the front of the arm, so when the muscles pull tight, they rotate the arms in. i’m sure this is more than any of you wanted to know, but i figure quite a few of y’all could benefit from this knowledge.
    the moral of the story is to be sure that, regardless of whether or not you are body building, you stretch out your pecs, and esp. that you strengthen your back and shoulders (esp. rhomboids).

    oh, and squats are horrible for your body!

    ok, y’all, beat THAT tangent! ;D

  38. Amy,

    The next time you and I are in the same place, I want to put in a request right now: I am down for a massage from a professional!

  39. mandalyn Says: March 7, 2005 at 12:13 pm

    great reviews! am conducting my own personal junk food review here in korea if you ever want to make a side trip.

    squid puffs… mmmm

  40. wilson,
    happy to oblige! 🙂
    hopefully it’s not a pipedream, but i would really like to celebrate my 30th b-day (ACK!) this fall in shanghai. if it happens, join us for the festivities! uh, assuming john doesn’t mind so much company (free massages for the hosts!)…

  41. mandalyn,

    Do you have a link for that, or is it in the real world only? 🙁

  42. schtickyrice,

    No, juruo is definitely not zhurou. I have yet to find out exactly what it is, but I know it’s some kind of vegetable or fruit. When I wrote the review I wasn’t even able to type it out, even though I know what the characters are, because those characters are apparantly so rare that they’re not included in the standard set. I had to go into Chinese Word and “insert symbol” and hunt down the stupid things by radical and stroke order.

    Here they are: ÉXÉm. [Google Image search]

    I still don’t really know what juruo is. The word (or either character) is not in any of my dictionaries. Anyone? Anyone?

  43. On a bag of dried jurou (ÉXÉm¸É) it was written that the ingredient is konjack but none of my dictionary has konjack, except the English-Chinese Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Terms shows konjaku flour: ÉXÉm·Û, ħÓó·Û.

  44. schtickyrice Says: March 8, 2005 at 10:02 am

    Cool, so juruo = konjac.

    I happen to be a fan of those Taiwanese coconut jellies that you squeeze out of disposable plastic cups…they come in different fruit flavours but my favorite is the lychee favored ones withOUT any food coloring. If I remember correctly, the labels used to include konjac extract, which the label described as being rich in gluco-mannans…some kind of complex carbohydrate I think.

    Sadly, those konjac jellies are no longer available here in Canada…something to do with being a choking hazard for kids if you can believe it. I actually found a substitute product, still from Taiwan, made with agar seaweed extract the other day. The label actually says “Does not contain konjac”. The taste was still the same but the texture was all wrong…

    I wonder if those big tapioca pearls in bubble tea are going to be banned as the next choking hazard…better get it while you still can!

  45. Me too like those suck-down jellies. The particular brand (Taiwan) was sued for choking death incidents and dissappeared for a number of years. They are back in the States, though with a non-round, unsymmetrical shape and some little, chunky sqares in it to render texture (and breakability). It would make sense that these new features reduce possibility of choking. I’m sucking one down right now, if this message is never posted you’d know I’m dead.

  46. Anonymous Says: March 8, 2005 at 1:39 pm

    Konjac, what language is it initially? Hmmm, could it be pronounced similar to …. Cognac?

  47. Anonymous Says: March 9, 2005 at 10:20 am

    The word origin must be japanese.


  48. CNN (old) News Says: March 11, 2005 at 3:00 pm

    New junk food fad: Deep-fried Twinkies
    Wednesday, September 18, 2002 Posted: 5:42 PM EDT (2142 GMT)

    Story Tools

    PUYALLUP, Washington (Reuters) — Ever tasted a deep-fried Twinkie?

    You can, if vendor Clint Mullen brings his high-calorie rendition of the notorious snack cake to a fairground near you.

    First invented in a Brooklyn restaurant, the deep-fried Twinkie has become a runaway success for Mullen and his brother, Rocky Mullen, since they started selling it at country fairs in mid-August. “We sold 26,000 Twinkies in 18 days,” said Rocky, who used to run a mechanical rodeo bull rental business. “People drove for hours just to taste our Twinkie.”

    Preparing the new snack is quite simple. After removing the Twinkies from their plastic wrappers, they are chilled so they don’t disintegrate when heated. Next, they are rolled in flour, dipped in a tempura batter and fried at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 to 120 seconds. The cooking process melts the vanilla-cream center, which infuses the yellow cake and gives it a souffle or pudding-like texture. Finally, the treats are sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with either chocolate or berry sauce. The snack costs $3.

    1 Twinkie = 150 calories

    Batter and oil = 275 calories

    Total Damage = 425 calories, about the same as a slice of apple pie a la mode

    Many people buying the new fried concoction at the Mullens’ snack stand at the Puyallup Fair, 30 miles south of Seattle, swear the hot oil transforms the cream-filled cake into a better-tasting snack. “It’s been years since I’ve had a Twinkie because they gross me out, but this is good. Real good,” customer Sue Holz said.

    But another customer wasn’t sold on the concept. “It still has that unmistakable lard aftertaste,” Mike Wald said.

    Deep-fried candy bars
    If deep-fried Twinkies don’t interest you, the Mullen brothers also sell deep-fried Snickers, 3 Musketeers and Milky Way candy bars at their stand.

    Originally, the Mullens only sold the deep-fried chocolate-covered candies, but added Twinkies after being approached by Hostess, the baking brand owned by Kansas City, Missouri-based Interstate Bakeries Corp. “We are very excited about it,” said Mike Redd, vice president of cake marketing at Interstate Bakeries. “Twinkies are an American icon and they have a life of their own,” Redd said, adding that the deep-fried Twinkie concept was being marketed to various state fairs.

    Earlier this year, Hostess put Clint Mullen in touch with British chef Christopher Sell, who invented the deep-fried confection at his fish-and-chips restaurant in Brooklyn. After a few tips, the Mullens started selling the deep-fried Twinkies this summer. Soon, business was so brisk they had to call in nearly a dozen family members to help with the unwrapping and frying.

    Rediscovering the Twinkie
    The brothers said they sold about 10 deep-fried Twinkies for every deep-fried candy bar. Clint Mullen said he has considered getting additional stands and traveling to larger fairs around the United States. “People are rediscovering the Twinkie,” said his brother Rocky, surrounded by stacks of white Hostess Twinkie boxes.

    As customer Teena Nelson tried a chocolate-covered, deep-fried Twinkie, she said, “It’s really good. … We’re not thinking about calories today.”

    So what is the calorie count for a deep-fried Twinkie? Rocky said he thought a calculation he saw on the Internet might be accurate: 150 calories for the Twinkie and 275 for the batter and oil. Total damage: 425 calories, about the same as a slice of apple pie a la mode.

    Asked if there have been any concerns from health-conscious customers, he said, “People at fairs don’t tend to eat food that’s good for them.”

    The Twinkie was first developed by Jimmy Dewar, manager of a bakery near Chicago, in 1930. A billboard in St. Louis advertising “Twinkle Toe Shoes” sparked the product’s name. Originally the cakes were filled with a creamy banana center, but during World War Two, a banana shortage forced Hostess to change to the vanilla cream still used today.

    Copyright 2002 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  49. Funny, when I think of konnyaku, I think of dieting, not snacking. (Something that most Japanese would think, I believe.) Still, whatever that was doesn’t look very appetizing. :X

  50. Good to know, sorta. The side-scrolling format is a bit bothersome, for printing purposes. I’ma hafta bring these 2 guides/reviews along when I go over– or maybe to my local (asian) grocery store.

    Keep up the blogging, man. You’re doing a good job.

    I hope you post more often @ boingboing.net

  51. Anonymous Says: April 2, 2005 at 4:36 am

    I’m cracking up laughing from both junk-food reviews. I love going to ethnic stores and buying random junk food just to see what it tastes like. I’ve had some pretty fantastic stuff in Europe, but I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Asia yet.

    My favorite junk food from China are those pineapple cookies that are very similar to Fig Newtons. I can’t remember what they are called but I wish I could find them in the States. Does anyone know what they are called?


  52. Amanda,

    That would be ·ïÀæËÖ (feng4 li2 su1) and the box may have English pineapple cakes or pineapple squares.

  53. David Buckley Says: October 15, 2005 at 11:36 am

    Truly funny and insightful. I have big respect for you guys for trying all this weird shit!! (and I am a “trier”) My wife taught english in Taiwan in the early ’90’s and I got to visit Taiwan and mainland in mid ’90’s–truly great eating but, as you’ve illustrated, weird stuff too.

    My best wishes to you–come back and hip us to the empire.

    be well,


  54. I feel sorta stupid for just posting this on Wilson’s site, but can tell you what that “jurou” is. It’s made from bean curd. I actually like it. You were talking about this stuff, right? Next time you guys come to Taiwan, you should go to a traditional grocery store (supermarket, whatever). They have a wide range of snacks too nasty to get shelf space at 7-11.

  55. Testing Junk Food? Great Idea!
    My brother and I also did that, but we live in Germany and we tried another challenge: American Candy!
    We really don’t know how anybody could eat Oreo Cookies (‘World’s No 1 Biscuit’) without at least one glass of milk and saying ‘Well, I kinda liked it’.
    However, I started liking peanut butter (espacially Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups).
    Different countries – different ‘adventures ‘ 😉

  56. very funny ,and i also enjoy the food u like ,haha

  57. This page is really enjoyable. Thanks for the hard work you put into it. Very nice.

  58. I had an arguement with an anonymous person on my blog about a certain product review website- http://www.finewaters.com – I thought it was silly and pompous. Then I decided to see what other review sites were out there, thinking I ought to make my own about all the food I like and recommend to other people. I found yours on google and it’s really awsome!!!

  59. Great Review. Thanks. Keep it up. More please.

  60. hi! i came acorss your site somehow! lol it’s funny hearing your comments! half of the food i have never heard of!!!! it’s funny seein the pics and stuff lol and whats your name…er not the chinese one…but the other is cute lol 😀 tee hee
    see ya
    the site

  61. Pringles in China are so bland and the packaging is always deceiving . When you open them the tube is only 2/3 full…(Chinese idea). Now they have a new 3rmb soft pack and when opened ..same 2/3…just daylight robbery.
    Pringles are worth 1billion $US to procter and gamble a year.

  62. hey! the dried squid is lush!

  63. Great stuff guys, but where are the tiny dried fish skeletons? One I really to like are the Hawthorne fruit rolls, quite tasty.

  64. Great stuff.
    Now how about another review of ‘street food’ !!
    You know, fried crickets and silk-worm pupae…..that would be priceless

  65. I don’t know what you were talking abouit. Papaya Milk rules!

  66. Funny site, guys! I got a smile out of it – and you found some interesting products, several things I have never seen before. Your reviews could be a little more complete, tho. And dried thin sheets of seaweed are called nori.

  67. 这个这个……

  68. Oh, no, you guys didn’t try out Lonely God! That’s my favorite snack from Taiwan, not so much because of its taste (which is actually pretty good) but because of its name. Well, there’s always next time.

    I-mei chocolate puffs are pretty good, too, but I found a rusty razor blade in the bottom of one of the packages once.

  69. Hey, what a great website. I work near Chinatown in Boston and am tempted to try the stuff at the grocery stores but am too afraid. You are saving me a lot of money. Now I know what to get.

  70. I wish you guys were still writing these reviews. They’re hilarious and right on the money. I also wish desperately that you’d done something with durian in it!

  71. Haha, great review of Chinese junk food. I’m always eager and wary about trying the snacks when I’m in China too…

  72. Wow, the 4. Thin Crisp Seaweed is one of my favorites

  73. Yo GradUAL students–your website here is A+; I cried I was laughing so hard. I sent the address to all of my friends.
    I can’t WAIT to try all the nasty and tasty treats when I go to Japan this June! Would love to email you guys some of my own trials and errors. LOL!

  74. elpariente in Spain Says: July 21, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Besides your good food information I learnt how to say good and bad with the hands
    Thank you !!!

  75. Beautiful John. While I finally got around to reading some of your stuff here, of course it is 2 years old. Yet you did something I’ve always wanted to do. I am willing to try eating ANYTHING, but not so willing to buy anything…not a spontaneous buyer. I would have loved to try all these things I see on the shelves of conventient stores, some stuff which I can’t even tell if meat, fruit or whatever. Junk food is a whole different ball park in China, especially around the Chinese New Year, and especially how they like to put everything in miniture wrapped packaging.

    I still remember buying some Japanese beef-jurkey that came wrapped EXACTLY like candy, in unmarked shiny green wrappers. I put them out in a bowl during Christmas and oh what fun it was to watch people think they are putting something sweet in their mouth find it to be dried meat. Meat…Mmmmm.


  76. This has to be the most interesting website I have come across in a while. I like how you guys took it upon yourself to save us Chinatown-less citizens from having horrible fooding buys.

  77. Thanks. This will be VERY useful for my two 16 year-old students as their junk-food buying guidelines when they go on their first trip to China next summer.

  78. all very useful! thanks!! do you know a japanese snack called jagariko? ive seen it in HK before but not over in mainland china. does anyone know where i can get this DELICIOUS salad flavoured salt potato snack?? i believe it also comes in corn chowder, buttered potato and pizza flavours now too!
    when is review #3 coming?!?!

  79. Cool site. Where did you guys get the snacks? Do you know of any places to order snacks from China and other countries online?


  80. I’ve never seen any of this stuff! Well, I might have seen some of it at that World Market or in Epcot, but not that stuff! I still question whether shrimp-flavored popcorn would be a good idea, but you usually can’t go wrong with chocolate. Usually. I’ve had some really weird Chinese snacks before, but I couldn’t read Chinese when I had them, so I have no idea what they were made out of. Pocky and Hello Panda seem pretty normal, but a lot of stuff is kind of scary. Now I have a guide to this, at least!

  81. JuRoh – is pig meat 🙂 I miss China :-)))

  82. couldn’t believe you guys still have this on here, haha….

  83. I seriously enjoyed the JunkFood Review… Now I’m tempted to make my own JunkFood review of sorts! 🙂

  84. Sounds almost as bad as what you might find in an American supermarket… although probably with better grammar.

  85. John, 你的博客非常精彩,我会常来的!hee hee

  86. Very nice idea.

  87. That had me laughing the entire way to the bottom of the page, I haven’t been very adventurous in trying Chinese snacks as I’m a pretty healthy eater, but I may give those almonds a try mmnn.

  88. I really want to try those oath chocolate thingys, i have never seen them!!!!

  89. mango juice is aswome. love yall bithcess.

  90. You guys are hilarious!!! Those little yogurt drinks were a cornerstone of my childhood.

  91. alex garza Says: November 6, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    what was the worst food you tried john and wilson?

  92. 秋水尹琳 Says: March 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm


  93. There’s a lot of food I wouldn’t eat in China and that includes junk food–both American and Chinese. But I do enjoy the fact that I can go into almost any resteraunt in China and order a wide variety of healthy foods, which includes fresh vegetables cooked just right after we let the server know we want it a certain way.

    The problem in China is the cancer-fast growth of American fast food everywhere you look in the major cities and I’m sure that once the electric grid and good roads reach out to rural Chinese villages, American and Chinese fast food will go there too along with all the diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, etc, which we already have in the US.

    While in China, what I like early in the morning, is to go to a shop that makes fresh soy juice and drink a warm bowl then go shopping to a farmer’s market in a blocked street to buy fresh fruit, which we wash well before eating and my wife many times skins the fruit too.

    The trouble with fresh fruit and vegetables in China is they are starting to lose their flavor thanks to all the US companies selling farmers chemical fertilizers and pesticides. China now uses more of this junk than any country on the earth and the US introduced it to them.

  94. I know it’s been years since you did these but can you PLLLLLEEEEEEAASSSSEEEE do another one? 🙂

    They are just so enjoyable and informative..and funny! 🙂

  95. Peppermint Plums? Now there’s a daring taste combination!

    Really enjoyed this post – thanks – yes – do a part 3!

  96. 黄建才 Says: July 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    freaking hilarious. 太搞笑!

  97. The first Junk Food Review isn’t working for me. The link just redirects to the same page but with a bunch of junk added to the URL. Maybe a recent site upgrade broke it? Maybe I’m doing it wrong? I don’t know.

  98. Very good blog, enjoy reading it. But it kinda reminding me the variety of snacks in China, comparing to the boring Safeway in NA.

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