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   Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #551  (Vol. 11, No. 42)  This edition is for the week of October 11--17, 2010.

"RED"  by Mike Smith
It's Halloween In Florida, Part One  by William Moriaty
Spooky Empire 2010  by ED Tucker
The Weekend that was Spooky Empire 2010  by Chris Woods
Japanese Pizza: Merry Misadventures in Gastronomy  by Jason Fetters
Oklahoma Is O.k. .... One Off The Bucket List .... Another Great Tribute .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith

Japanese Pizza: Merry Misadventures in Gastronomy

The J-pizza is truly a unique creation that could never exist in any country other than Japan. In spite of all its weirdness and bizarre flavors, J-pizza is worth checking out.

I recommended the Shakey's Pizza that was prevalent throughout the Kansai area, back when I was living there, 10-years ago. Usually when entering Shakey's, you would see a few actual Japanese people and lots of foreigners working as English teachers or business types.

The cost was 900 yen, so around 9 dollars for the buffet experience. That is actually a cheap price when you take into consideration that Tokyo and Osaka are two of the most expensive cities to live in.

I am a cheap guy so I'll take the 9 dollar buffet without any complaints. Shakey's is also a major step up from the bland taste of CiCi's.

Now I am probably more adventurous than most when it comes to food consumption. However, there are certain pizzas that I only found at Shakey's. One was the pizza that used squid ink for the sauce instead of the traditional tomato paste. I managed to wolf down two slices with no problem and no unpleasant stomach pains later.

The one specialty pizza that did send me running for dear life to the nearest restroom was the tuna pizza. It looked really good at first glance, so I shyly picked up a couple of slices and quickly darted back to my table. I didn't want to run into that one guy who has been in Japan too long and tries to talk me out of trying something outside my culture to settle for the more familiar like the Japanese version of sausage pizza. OK, the tuna pizza was a pizza with canned tuna, cheese, and lots of mayonnaise. After chowing down those three slices, it was actually pretty good. Then after a couple of minutes, I was forced to jump up and run to the bathroom. Something wasn't agreeing with me concerning tuna pizza or maybe it was the combinations of non-Western pizza items that were ganging up on me, I am not really sure. I remembering zoning out and being in the stall a very long time.

Once, I recovered, I drank two glasses of Coke and was ready to continue. Next was corn pizza, which with all things considered, was actually good and something that I wish would appear on the American menu. Corn pizza is a regular pizza with a tomato based pizza sauce, cheese and corn on top. I remembering seeing a Domino's ad that offered three different types of toasted corn. I did try that and it was good.

Sometimes, I would see a pizza with squid or octopus tentacles sitting there baked into the cheese and if you are a seafood fan, those pizza are not really that bad. It's just the thought of eating something that almost crushed the Nautilus in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that make it a mental challenge.

The Japanese pizza experience is something that all Western travelers should try out at least once. If you find yourself in Japan or the Philippines, then check out the local Shakey's and see what you think.

Western pizza is definitely better, by a long shot, then what you will find in Asia. However, if you approach Asian pizza with an open mind, then you may come away from the experience with positive memories of corn pizza and you also may find yourself saying, why won't my country make that?

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "The Asian Aperture" is ©2010 by Jason Fetters. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.