The taste of sakura can now be found in dairy sections across the country.
Danone Japan has been blending sakura with their Bio range of fermented milk products in seasonal releases for several years now but it’s only this year that we finally managed to get our hands on a four-pack to find out exactly what they taste like.
It turns out that this is one of the best seasonal products we’ve ever tried, and it’s not just because of its pretty packaging.
▼ Covered in images of pink-tinged sakura blossoms, the four-pack retains its good looks as you rip it apart into packs of two or single servings.
The pack on the left has a large cherry blossom flower with “Taste the Season” emblazoned across it, while the pack on the right lets us know that these are sakura-flavoured, with real pieces of sakura leaf inside.
While the mix of sakura leaf and yoghurt is one of the most unusual combinations we’ve ever seen, leaves from the cherry blossom tree are a distinctive ingredient in one of Japan’s traditional springtime sweets, sakura mochi. The small, pink-coloured rice cakes, filled with a sweet paste, come wrapped in the brownish-green pickled leaf and appear in supermarkets, confectionery stores and at cherry blossom festivals during the hanami cherry blossom viewing season.
▼ As soon as we opened one of the yoghurt packs, we could see it was speckled with tiny pieces of sakura leaf.
The leaves have a distinctive, salty-sour flavour, which mellows out beautifully when combined with the creamy yoghurt, imparting a subtle sakura flavour to each mouthful. Given the liberal use of leaf in each serving, the yoghurt tastes remarkably similar to the traditional sakura mochi dessert, only with a much more restrained tartness.
This is an absolutely delicious product, and with each four-pack currently on sale for a recommended retail price of 245 yen (US$2.17) at supermarkets around the country, it’s an affordable way to enjoy the taste of cherry blossoms this spring. Plus, each serving contains a hefty dose of the probiotic BE80, which means you can enjoy beneficial yoghurt cultures at the same time as indulging in a bit of Japanese culture. A wonderful way to celebrate the coming of spring!
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