Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snack review: Ramune

Picture by Nicole Lee
Ramune is a Japanese softdrink based on water with bubbles, produced by Sangaria. What makes this drink so appealing has probably more to do with the design of the bottle then with the actual taste of the drink. Not that the taste is bad, but there are a lot of carbonated water based drinks and it is the design that makes it stand out. The bottle has a green cap that functions as an opener.  It is closed off with a glass marble, which you have to pop inside with the opener. You do have to use a fair amount of strength to do so. There the ball is captured in a separate part of the bottle, so you can’t swallow it. The ball, that moves around while drinking raises the appeal of the drink. I know for a fact that some friends of mine buy it for this purpose only, because they find the marble in the bottle so much fun.

This design can be a plus, but to me it is all about the taste. I was able to pick up Ramune in five different tastes; Plain (or Lemon & Lime), Litchi, Peach, Strawberry and Orange. There are even more flavors, but this is what I got for now. The plain version you could compare to 7UP. It doesn’t taste exactly the same but it comes close. Of course it doesn’t sparkle as much as 7UP and 7UP is sweeter. The plain version smells a bit like bubblegum, and it also has that after taste. It makes me thirstier then I was and it causes me to burp. It has a bit too many bubbles for me, since my stomach protested a bit as well. I don’t find the plain taste of Ramune too appealing but there are still 4 flavors left to try. Let’s see if they can win me over.

Picture by Nicole Lee

The strawberry flavor surely smells like strawberry. It is a strong smell that implies that it tastes very chemical but it was more subtle then I expected. It kind of remembered me of strawberry bubblegum. I don’t really care for it though and, like the plain Ramune, it left me thirsty. However I have to add that I don’t really care for strawberry flavor in general.

Third up is peach flavor. It has a very light sweet smell. The color is almost as bright red as the strawberry one, which I found a bit odd and I expected a strong bubblegum peachy taste. But this flavor actually tastes quite good. It is not too strong but you can taste the peach clearly. It reminds me of a sugary soft peach candy we have in the Netherlands that I like to eat. I enjoyed this flavor and I would buy this again some time when I happen to come across it.

Do you know those orange flavored water ice creams? Well the Ramune orange flavor smells exactly like that and has the same color too. It gave me a bit of a nostalgic feeling since I ate that kind of ice cream a lot as a child. As for taste, it is in between those ice creams and regular Fanta orange soda. I liked this flavor of Ramune but I can get my hands on similar tasting drinks locally so I probably won’t go through much trouble to get my hands on these again.

Picture by Frambois
They always say to save the best for last and in this case, it was so true. The litchi flavor was sweet tasting, but not too much. It smells really appealing and tastes very subtle. I thought that this was a flavor that really stands out and I will try to import this myself since these are just THAT good!

This is it for now. I will see if I can get different flavors in the future to review. Even though I enjoyed only some of them, and would buy just two flavors again, it seems like an interesting experiment to compare more types of Ramune and discover if there are more great varieties out there. There are 35 different types of Ramune, so I am sure I will find some more tasty flavors. I paid €3,00 for a 200ml bottle of Ramune. This is probably because I had to buy them at a convention, I have seen them cheaper than this.

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