Japanese Snack Food Review: Ramune (orange)

RamuneOrange.jpg

Today at the JSFR we return to Ramune, in orange flavor this time. It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed Ramune so let’s take a moment and look back on the three other flavors; Ramune, Kiwi, and Blue Hawaii. Wait, is Blue Hawaii really a flavor? Well anyway, there are the previously reviewed Ramune for you to peruse or not. Now, onto the orange. Humorously, Orange like Kiwi has the sticker doodad on the bottle with the little disclaimer saying “It contained artificial color”. I love Engrish, pea points for amusement!

Orange Ramune, like its previously reviewed cousins, suffers from some fundamental problems, most notably the bottle construction. While the marble in the bottle mouth is novel and kind of cool, actually, I am having the hardest time drinking from it. It is only from sheer force of will (and the fact that I don’t want to get my powerbook soaked) that I haven’t dribbled Ramune all over myself. Yet. I just don’t get the whole drinking platform. Do Japanese people have a different lip structure that allows them to comfortably sip from a rounded top with a hole in the middle or do they just accept Ramune dribble as a soda drinking fact?

Also, I don’t believe I’ve ever opened a Ramune before (I suppose TheMan has been my previous Ramune opener) and I have to detract pea points from the whole opening operation. First off, if you’ve grabbed a Ramune for some happy liquid sipping on the run…it ain’t gonna happen. Oh maybe, but you have to peel the coating off of the top doohickey, which is attached to the bottle by the plastic coating. Which you’ve just taken off. I can’t see juggling that really easily on the train or in a car. Second, you now have to dislodge the marble with the attached marble dislodger (which is hopefully not skittering all over the floor). This involves placing said marble dislodger on the marble and pushing down on the flat marble dislodger top. It’s not an easy push, but it’s not impossible. Mine spurtched orange Ramune all over my hand when I did it. Again, not the sort of travel friendly drink.

One thing I was pleasantly surprised with is the carbonation. Orange Ramune still has the same Ramune small itsy bitsy carbonation that has so far bordered on flat but for some reason orange had a bit of a bite to it as well. Sort of like how Vernors seems extra bitey carbonated compared to any other ginger-ale. Orange Ramune, when compared with the other Ramunes, was softly fizzy with a nice itty bitty fizzy bite. Tasty.

Sadly, the orange flavor isn’t as brilliantly orange tasting as I think it could be. The ingredients say this ramune contains artificial flavor and I can tell. I’ve been drinking diet Faygo like it’s going out of style so I’m well acquainted with that diet aftertaste and orange Ramune has a similar sort of chemical taste. Think of carbonated children’s chewable aspirin and that might be close. If orange Ramune were a diet drink, I’d say it’s pretty darned good (if a little light on the orangy) but the first two of all four ingredients are sugars so…yeah. On the other hand, orange Ramune isn’t as cloyingly sweet as the other Ramunes have been. I don’t get it. I also don’t get how orange Ramune can’t get the orange done because I know it’s been done before. Orange Crush, Faygo orange – in both diet and regular seem to be able to produce a nice natural orangy orange (it helps that Faygo, which I happen to have on hand, has natural orange flavors as an ingredient) but not so much the Ramune. Still, it’s not terrible, just disappointing when you know that orange can be done.

Gathering together my plus pea points and my minus pea points and doing some non Euclidian JSF math, I come up with a

Rating

of 3 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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