Enjoy two flavors of curry!
In order to curry favor with potential movie viewers, Ryouyu Bread (purveyors of all sorts of unhealthy, high-carb treats like the Coffee Sandwich, Choco Dodeka [super big] Danish, and the Manhattan fruit bread) recently released the Godzilla vs. Kong Skreoooooonk Curry Bread tying in with the original release date for the film in Japan—May 14 (the film was pushed back for release in theaters here on July 2). I had not realized that such a treat existed, and picked it up from the bargain bin at the local supermarket for about fifty cents a pop when I was passing through on my usual veggies-and-fruit run.
The name of the bread is a bit weird, to the point I wasn’t sure how to translate it at first. The onomatopoeic word for a monster’s roar in Japanese is “Gao” and is usually written in katakana, with the vowel extended—like this: ガオー. Note the line at the end, which indicates that the “o” stretches on, mimicking the extended booming wails of giant mutated creatures (or lions and other beasts). However, the name of this particular treat is written out differently, as follows: ガオウホカレーパン, which can be transliterated as Gaouho Karee Pan, where “karee” is a loan-word from English written in Japanese, “pan” is a loan word from Portuguese for “bread,” and “Gaouho” presumably a means to write out a kaiju roar with more fervor and menace (and marketability). I translated this name with an extended “skreeonk.”
The packaging on the bread shows the familiar image of Kong and Godzilla about to battle from the poster, and the former release date of May 14 in one corner. It also states something like “Spicy vs. Mild” or “Salty vs. Sweet” (karakuchi vs. amakuchi)—presumably Godzilla is spicy and salty, and Kong is sweet and mild. Sorry, ape king. Tellingly, underneath the title of the movie, the food has a disclaimer that says “spiciness and sweetness depend on the individual tastes of the consumer. Please be careful if you are a small child or are bad at eating spicy foods.”
The curry bread itself is one big, brownish, soft bun with two sections containing the hot curry and sweet curry separated. The hot curry is a beef tendon black curry, and the sweet curry is a “hogushi” or I guess pulled beef curry with much smaller bits of meat.
When I ate the bread, I wasn’t sure at first which side I had started on; it didn’t taste that hot to me, and so I thought I was eating the mild Kong curry. Turns out I had started on the Godzilla side, though, as the bits of beef tendon were larger, and the milder Kong curry side did taste noticeably sweeter. This is some cheap snackage here, though, and both curries have a bland, manufactured flavor to them. The bread, too, is very soft and fluffy—the brown color in this case I am sure does not indicate whole grains, but was rather an attempt to make the snack look more “monstrous” as per the branding. “Soft & Sweet” is also part of Ryouyu Bread’s brand and image.
The final verdict is that the Skreoooooonk Curry Bread is mostly inoffensive, cheap, and mildly interesting as a kaiju snack. I was surprised they didn’t package the snack as two separate curry buns—it would make it easier to compare each flavor, and you could play up the “vs” angle or share with a friend. At 215 calories, this snack bread is I think pretty average as far as unhealthy munchie options go—and for curry breads, which are popular in Japan and often deep-fried, it’s probably a bit healthier than the norm. Still, this munchie isn’t a big winner in the kaiju cuisine wars, and discerning gourmet monster fans can find better foods elsewhere.