What do you mean food is in anime? Yes, there is food that has become a part of the anime culture. Some people even cosplay as their favorite anime food. Pocky has become a sweet staple at many anime conferences. This is a cookie like stick dipped in either chocolate or strawberry flavored candy. Another popular sweet treat is Hello Panda, similar to Pocky in the form of cookies. The bright and colorful packaging is par for the culture. Food has been made popular in various manga’s like “Kitchen Princess” and “Neko Ramen”. Don’t be surprised if your Otaku comes into the kitchen prepared with recipes in hand as they are posted in these books. I found this to be so charming as it adds to a softer side of anime. Another avenue in the anime world of food is the aspects of tea. “Maid Café” is actually a show that is performed at the conventions. This revolves around serving tea and cakes at a café and what takes place during that time. Another take off of Maid Café are actual tea houses where the typical maids outfit is worn by the servers. The main fare is tea and cakes. We have had the pleasure of visiting “Royal T” in Culver City, Ca. This had been in combination with the showing of local artist. I am so sad to say that the owner of “Royal T” Susan Hancock has taken her show and T on the road. She is headed off to New York. We wish her well as we had always enjoyed the anime influenced atmosphere, tea and food.
Another wonderful discovery that has come into play as an influence in food or in this case drink is the Boba. Boba is a tea or coffee based drink with little pearls at the bottom of the drink made from Tapioca. This taste sensation is refreshing with a play on the sweet and chewy texture from the Boba pearls. This drink origins started in countries such as the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The influence of Boba as spurred on many Boba shops all over the country. We are most happy with our local Boba barista Neda and her “Bobalishis” located in Mission Viejo, Ca.
With regards to eating at the conventions, I can suggest that the cafeteria at Anime Expo in Los Angeles is very good. There are also kiosks within the 2nd level including a Starbucks where you can get a bite to eat. But if you are looking to save some money and not slowdown, I would suggest to making homemade wraps. Take wraps or tortillas and fill them with your favorite lunch meats or even PB&J. Roll up and wrap again with saran wrap. This way you’re not having to worry about smashing a sandwich and you’re keeping up your energy. Don’t forget to hydrate.