UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
Packaging Whore: JPN Pasta

Dear De Cecco, Barilla, and all other major pasta producers of the world: you should be ashamed of yourself, letting Japan come up with the smartest packaging for pasta EVER.

This one is "Mama" brand that my own mama Hideko picked up at the Japanese grocery store. Kinda ironic that she would even consider buying pasta from Japan. What can I say, though-- if it makes her feel closer to her homeland by buying Western products written in Japanese typography, so be it.

And don't knock it-- SO SMART, this pasta!

First off, it is clear how anally-retentive the Japanese are by the front of the package above. It gives the EXACT diameter of each strand of pasta-- this one is 1.4mm. GEEKOUT.

Here's the ingenius part. First, the pasta comes subdivided within each package-- one portion per person. The Japanese already do this for their soba and udon noodles, so why not pasta too, right?

Packaging Whore: JPN Pasta

Don't lie, you know you always end up boiling way too much pasta, or not enough. Measuring it is not easy! It wasn't until I moved to Italy that I learned that the amount of pasta in your hand should only be about an inch around, per person. The Mama pasta is pretty spot on, in this regard.

Packaging Whore: JPN Pasta

Now, look at the seal around each batch of pasta. It tells you, right then and there, ON THE SEAL, that the boiling time for this is five minutes. GENIUS.

Packaging Whore: JPN Pasta

Again, don't lie-- you know you always over or under-boil. Al dente is an art.

When you're done, just seal up the pasta bag.

Packaging Whore: JPN Pasta

SO SMART. How many of you have open boxes of pasta, of various sizes and diameters, just overflowing in your pantry? Yah, me too, it's so effing annoying. An accident just waiting to happen.

Although I refuse to ever put pasta in those cheesy glass containers that you see on kitchen countertops. What is up with that??? Can't deal.

*Kayoko currently lives in Cupertino, CA, and can make you a slammin'ass martini. Come back every Tuesday for Packaging Whore, where she highlights smart, aesthetically-pleasing design in food packaging.
Column: Packaging Whore
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1 comment

  • Ha! I love this. Yes, it seems like because the being a "housewife" is so common in Japan, food companies find no shame in marketing to them by selling convenience and fool proof-ness so that they can spend more time having tea in Ginza and buying parasols and gloves.

    yoko on

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