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Food For Thought Pepsi Shiso (Beefsteak Plant)
(Entered Jun. 23, 2009)
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Rumor has it that the president of Pepsi was pushing hard for this year's summer flavour to be 'Pepsi Sashimi', but his board of directors threatened to fire him if he didn't settle down and start behaving himself. As a sort of compromise however, they agreed to let him make the next flavour sashimi related, as long as it was a vegetable. The lab's first two creations, Pepsi Daikon and Pepsi Wasabi ended up being failures.... What to do? The president was dejected but refused to give up. While rooting through a plate of sashimi at the local izakaya, he pulled out a shiso leaf, gave it an experimental sniff, then a lick, and is reported to have shouted out 'Eureka!' before getting kicked out by the restaurant manager.
Shiso is also known as perilla, and is sometimes even called beefsteak plant. Beefsteak plant? If only getting your hands on a big juicy steak for dinner was as easy as going out to the garden and plucking a few off the beefsteak bush. No doubt someday this will be possible but until then we'll be stuck drinking beefsteak Pepsi.

pepsi shiso beefsteak plant

Ok so let's get serious. Shiso is a leaf, a herb related to the mint family to be more specific, with a distinct taste and smell that you'll probably find garnishing a plate of raw fish. It's other uses range from being sprinkled on salads, spagetti, pizza and occasionally used by corporations to make a promotional summer soft drink available for a limited time....
The verdict? Well I was all prepared to pan Pepsi Shiso the same way as I've panned Pepsi Cucumber, Blue Hawaii and White, but, surprise surprise, Pepsi Shiso is actually... good...? Seriously? Yes. Although shiso is not listed in the ingredients, they were obviously careful this time around to use a chemical combination that both tasted and smelled exactly like shiso. And although it was sweet, it wasn't overly sweet like Pepsi Cucumber was. So anyway, the flavour combined with the label and colour made quite a pleasant package overall. Well done Pepsi, your first win! (in my books at least, and let's be serious, who else's books matter?)



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