When I was about nine, there was a small shopping complex near our house that my family visited every Sunday for a weekly grocery. While my mother did the shopping in the grocery store, my father and I would hang out, usually first doing a small shopping at a 100 yen shop (a Japanese version of a dollar store), then sitting and reading a book in the resting area.
But there was another thing that my father used to look forward to during our free time in the shopping complex. It was to buy a snack bread from the bakery there. My father has always been a person who enjoys little snacks here and there, but my mother usually regulated his access to snacks due to health concern. So, it was a great chance for my father to enjoy a secret snack time while my mother was busy doing the grocery.
One day, as soon as my mother left us for the grocery shopping, my father suggested that we should get something at the bakery.
“Are you sure?” I asked. “You’d be in trouble when Mom finds out about it.”
“Come on, once in a while, it doesn’t harm!”
With excitement on his face, my father led our way to the bakery.
It was the time when Pokémon was very popular in Japan, and when we walked into the bakery, we found a seasonal bread called “Poké Ball Bread.” It was a large round bread with a chocolate coating in the shape of a Poké Ball. The description said that there was chocolate cream inside as well. Being a big fan of chocolate cream, my father was intrigued.
“A Poké Ball bread? That’s interesting. Let’s buy this one!”
Once we came out of the bakery, we sat on a bench to try this monstrous Poké Ball bread. On the condition that I was not going to tell my mother, my father promised that I could also try it. I carefully watched my father take the first bite of the bread.
“How is it?” I asked eagerly.
“It’s very hard!”
The texture of the bread was similar to the French baguette. Given the round shape, it was quite hard to bite the bread. But my father managed it somehow and moved onto the middle part when the chocolate cream inside burst out from the bread.
“Wow, a monster!” shouted my father. “It’s really a Poké Ball! This is the monster!”
The amount of the chocolate cream was so much that it was flowing out of the bread. I got so excited upon hearing my father’s comment about the monster.
“I want to try it, I want to try it!”
My father handed the bread over to me, and I also took a bite from the Poké Ball bread. Indeed, this monster was very powerful and both our mouths and hands became extremely messy with the cream. After the battle with this chocolate monster, we both washed our hands, leaving no trace of chocolate whatsoever, ready to meet my mother with clean hands.
Shortly after that visit, my mother needed to do some additional grocery during the week, and I accompanied her to the same shopping complex. We went to the bakery to purchase a loaf of regular bread for the week, and my mother offered to buy me one snack bread. I immediately picked the Poké Ball bread.
“A Poké Ball bread? It doesn’t look like a healthy choice, does it?” My mother frowned, but I insisted.
“It’s trendy, and I should try it.”
Back home, I sat with my own Poké Ball bread on a plate. I started to eat the hard shell outside, and soon, the chocolate cream burst out from inside.
I shouted with a smile. I recalled each step that my father and I went through as we ate the first Poké Ball bread together and felt very satisfied.
I loved the experience so much that I kept purchasing the Poké Ball bread until they stopped making them a few months later.