In 2013 in the JR Nara supermarket, we discovered ONIGIRI. Life has never been the same since.
Onigiri (おにぎり) is a Japanese rice ball, a common staple convenience food for the locals. So common that they are found in almost every convenience store or ‘konbini’ there is in the country (and there are more than 40,000). So ingeniously wrapped (follow the 1,2,3 steps on how to tear the wrapper), we savour every mouthful of the crispy, crackle of seaweed, the refreshingly cold rice and the burst of flavour from the stuff inside. The stuff inside also ranges from the common such as cooked red salmon, tuna / chicken mayo, mentaiko, to the gourmet like wagyu beef, grilled chicken and stewed pork. Gourmet ones are usually peddled from specialised counters in basement food halls of department stores.
Back home in Singapore, we have since been on a quest to satisfy our onigiri longing. Alas, the search has proven to be futile. The ones in supermarket sushi corners here are just sad and they do not even wrap the rice ball up properly in accordance to the 1,2,3 to unwrap the rice ball. Those offered by Japanese restaurants are expensive and come without wrappers so you miss half the fun of eating onigiri. Yes, unwrapping them 1,2,3 rocks!
So if you are ever in Japan, just drop by any old Lawsons, Seven-Eleven or Family Mart and grab yourself a variety of onigiri. You won’t leave the country without them ;P