First came corn soup flavor in 2012. Although unusual, it did find itself a very strong fan base for its sweet yet somewhat savory taste uncharacteristic of ice candy such as Gari Gari Kun. In 2013, Gari Gari Kun’s makers rolled out potato stew flavor, upping the savoriness factor by including little rubbery bits of potato inside the ice cream. Earlier this year, Japan was surprised by the sudden release of a spaghetti flavored Gari Gari Kun that could best be described as eating an ice-cold hot dog covered in ketchup and dipped in a frosty glass of milk.
After this onslaught of increasingly odd flavors, the Japanese public wasn’t sure whether to trust the makers of Gari Gari Kun ever again with a new flavor. However, on 22 April they released a “cream puff flavor” that both looks and sounds fantastic. But can an already shell-shocked public trust that this relatively normal flavored ice pop is safe for consumption? We picked a few up to find out.
Our intrepid reporter Meg has braved all of three speciality Gar Gari Kun flavors that were later labelled by the public as the “trilogy of shock”. She hasn’t just consumed them as they were intended, though, oh no. Our Meg even ate the Gari Gari Kun Potato Stew with a bowl of rice, and drank the Gari Gari Kun Neapolitan from a glass, with no chaser. She’s that hardcore.
So, as she gazed at the Gari Gari Kun Miruku Tappuri Tororin Shu, based on a brand of cream puffs sold exclusively in 7-Eleven Japan stores, she was painfully aware that this could all go very badly.
She knew well that 7-Eleven’s Tororin Shu were awesome and had no vegetable bits inside. However, in Japan cream puffs are called shu-kurimu, based on the French name choux crème which in Japanese sounds an awful lot like “shoe cream.” Could Gari Gari Kun have put a shoe-flavored cream inside this popsicle this time in a linguistically diabolical move?
“They’re capable of anything at this point,” she thought, recalling the meaty aftertaste of Gari Gari Kun Napolitan and feeling a shiver up her spine.
Nevertheless, she had a job to do and it was time to dig in. Bracing herself for the synthetic taste of leather and sweaty socks, she took the first bite.
It was exquisite.
The bar follows the typical Gari Gari Kun texture of a hard outer shell of ice pop with the slushier texture of shaved ice that has made the bar a perennial hit in Japan. However, in this case the ice shavings had the taste of milky custard mixed in and at the very center of the bar was another blast of milky and custardy sauce for a heartily sweet and creamy taste.
Altogether it created a gradation between ice and cream that was just perfectly coordinated. Also, although it was different in its components the ice pop did a fantastic job of capturing the taste of 7-Eleven’s Tororin Shu. Even better, the Gari Gari Kun version was almost half the calories yet with all the delicious impact. Granted, if you care about calories you should probably stay from cream puffs and popsicles altogether, but every little bit helps.
Meg wolfed the whole thing down in no time, confirming that this special, limited-edition Gari Gari Kun is indeed something special and not just something to be eaten for the novelty.
So if you’d like to get some of the creamy deliciousness of Gari Gari Kun Miruku Tappuri Tororin Shu, head down to any 7-Eleven in Japan and pick one up. This time it’s safe!
Original article by Meg Sawai
[ Read in Japanese ]