I’m heading home for the holidays and that means omiyage galore! Although Tokyo is filled with nicely-packaged omiyage year round, it gets even more fabulous this season for those traveling home for the New Year or giving gifts to their bosses and relatives. Last week, I came across this kudzu tea set in a distressed book box and wrapped in vintage maps. I wanted to buy it so badly, but having never tried kudzu tea, I thought I’d try one first.
This tea is made from – yup, kudzu: those invasive, relentless vines that cover a lot of the landscape of the southern US. It actually has some unique medicinal benefits including improving colds, fevers, eye pain, menopause, cardiovascular disease, and most interesting of all – alcoholism.
Kudzu tea comes in form of a powder. I was surprised that this ‘tea’ is quite thick and a bit sticky even when diluted properly. The texture and taste reminded me of unsweetened tapioca pudding. I kept resisting the urge to change it into a dessert base. Hidden in the powder were these two adorable little rice crackers in the shape of a ball and blowfish – a nice surprise and too cute. Overall, my husband likes it a lot, but I’m more of a fan of the packaging, which is such a shame because it really is so pretty!