There’s an early episode of Ranma 1/2, everyone’s favorite comedy about sex-changing martial artists, in which Ranma (in his feminine form) is gorging himself on parfaits because he could never possibly order one as a man.
Having been to Japan a few times and seen the patently ridiculous parfaits you can get in cafes, I can empathize. They’re huge and look really delicious and ordering one as a man is possibly the least manly thing one could possibly do, right down there with buying a poodle.
That is, unless you’re some kind of pro-wrestler type and built like you’re made out of bricks and are buying a poodle as an ironic statement. Cause I can kind of get behind that.
With me in Japan at the moment are eight other students from my university, and we were discussing my desire to taste the forbidden dessert and it transpired that one of the others wanted to buy a parfait as well and she didn’t mind being my “cover” for ordering one for myself.
It was also my birthday, so I felt that I deserved to explore previously unknown vistas.
Anyway, we went to the nearby “Jonathan’s”, which is a family restaurant – think a Denny’s, for reference – and ordered us up a couple of parfaits. I may or may not have been wearing a false beard and sunglasses.
This was mine:
For the record, the list of ingredients as enumerated by the menu:
- Strawberry sauce
- Soft-serve ice cream
- Corn Flakes (yes, there were, don’t ask me why)
- Vanilla ice cream (a layer of non-soft-serve)
- Aloe (presumably the little green leaves on top)
Now, this wasn’t the most overdone parfait I’ve seen – this was a Jonathan’s, after all, not some fancy Shinjuku cafe – but it was plenty silly and I felt that I had adequately sated my hunger for girly treats, while still managing to hang on to the last shreds of my waning manhood.