fbpx Snack Breaker: Japan's Take on Pumpkin Treats
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food

Snack Breaker is a bi-weekly series to highlight new and limited time treats in Japan. We’re here to check out the what’s fresh on the shelves of your local “conbini” and let you know what’s worth spending your hard earned yen on.

Halloween is right around the corner and Japan’s selection of spooky treats grows each year as the holiday increases in popularity. Although pumpkin pie is still rare in Japanese bakeries and supermarkets, there are plenty of pumpkin-flavored treats to feast on if you’re brave enough to try them.

Marbled Pumpkin & Milk Steamed Cake

Where To Buy: FamilyMart convenience stores
¥¥¥: 119 yen

With a garish blend of orange and purple, it isn’t hard to miss this this Halloween snack while browsing the bread selection at your local convenience store. It’s advertised as a pumpkin-flavored bread with black milk cream in the center, but the pumpkin flavor itself is quite muted and the bread is very sweet like most regular steamed cakes. The creamy center isn’t bad, but the dye makes it a bit unsettling to bite into. You may get more preoccupied thinking about just how many chemicals went into manufacturing your snack than enjoying its flavor.

Snack Breaker recommendation? Skip—unless you’re desperate for something extra sweet.

Pasco’s Melty Pumpkin Pudding Roll

Where To Buy: Japanese supermarkets
¥¥¥: ~120 yen

This dessert has a decidedly stronger pumpkin flavor than the steamed cake above, but it is that of the Japanese pumpkin which differs from the big orange pumpkins of the West. It’s not surprising considering its a product of Japan, but it may not suit everyone’s tastes. The pudding flavor is also mixed in as well, with bitter caramel swirls to balance the overt sweetness.

Snack Breaker recommendation? Try—if you like Japanese pumpkins.

Fuji Pan’s Pumpkin Custard Snack Sandwich

 

Where To Buy: Japanese supermarkets
¥¥¥: 98 yen

Fuji Pan makes a variety of snack sandwiches and often comes out with limited edition flavors that are more interesting than their usual peanut butter or strawberry jam offerings. For Halloween they’ve decided to pair pumpkin and custard; inside the sandwich you can see the two creams layered on top of each other, one which looks like a normal custard and one that looks indistinguishable from nacho cheese sauce. Since the two flavors are so distinct and separated, it makes for a somewhat disjointed experience that isn’t helped by the sizeable amount of plain bread you’ll get in each bite.

Snack Breaker recommendation? Skip

There are plenty of other Halloween-themed treats in stores now as well, so be on the lookout for a chance to try something new!

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