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Let’s play a little word association game. When I say “birthday,” what’s the next word that comes to mind?

For everyone who said “suit,” well, we’ve always suspected that at least a handful of people at any given moment are reading RocketNews24 while completely nude. Still, I’m guessing that far more of you thought of birthday parties and birthday cakes, which tend to go hand in hand. But what do you make the centerpiece of your birthday celebration edibles if sweets aren’t your thing?

Simple: you get a cake made of meat, like these carnivorous Japanese citizens.

When you consider the culinary landscape of Japan, a heaping helping of meat is every bit as decadent as a dessert of chocolate and cream. High-quality cuts are relatively expensive in Japan, and in many traditional and gourmet meals the few morsels of meat are more of a side dish than the main course.

The most basic forms a meat cake can take are a slice of meatloaf or simple plate of meat with a birthday greeting like the one above. But this is Japan, where the presentation of a dish is considered by many to be almost as important as its flavor, so of course there are fancier designs as well.

One of the most popular motifs is a flower, something that seafood restaurants have been doing for a while now with tuna sashimi “roses.” Here, slices of meat play the role of the blossoms’ petals.

Even more dynamic is creating an entire meat cake pedestal, which here looks to have a core of shredded cabbage.

And just because your birthday cake is made out of meat doesn’t mean it can’t have a candle.

Or 17 candles, depending on your needs.

While some meat cakes appear to be homemade, others are prepared by yakiniku restaurants, such as the above example from Tontsu and the one below from Black Hole, both grill-your-own-meat joints in Tokyo.

So if you’re booking a birthday dinner for a meat-loving friend, consider asking the staff for one of these dessert alternatives. It just might be the perfect way to say “Happy birthday to moo.”

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: Twitter/@momoxminnie (edited by RocketNews24)