We’ll take any excuse to drink shakes, but was this new temptation, over a century in the making, worth the wait?
Willpower, at least where sweets are concerned, isn’t really the RocketNews24 team’s strong suit. So when we heard that McDonald’s was about to release caramel shakes in Japan, we marked our calendars, cleared out our schedules, and sent multiple reporters out to try the drinks as soon as they became available.
McDonald’s didn’t develop this new flavor entirely on its own, though. As implied by the new shake’s name, the McShake Morinaga Milk Caramel, this new dessert beverage is a collaborative effort with candy maker Morinaga, whose milky caramels have been an iconic part of the Japanese sweet snack landscape for generations. The small-size shake, priced at 120 yen (US$1.15) even comes in a cup made to look like the package Morinaga’s caramel candies are sold in.
Removing the lid reveals a thick shake with a pale brown color. Before trying it, though, we paused to appreciate all the history involved. Morinaga began selling its Milk Caramels more than 100 years ago, and McDonald’s pretty much popularized the shake in Japan when it came to the country in 1971. Would these two companies be able to harmoniously blend their flavors, or would they end up as discordant as two elderly gentlemen arguing over which one of them really grew up in an era when young people knew what good music was?
Thankfully, it turns out McDonald’s and Morinaga get along just fine. The shake is creamy, sweet, and immensely satisfying. While one of our taste testers would have liked a little more bitterness in the flavor profile, Morinaga Milk Caramels themselves are milder than many other makers’ take on the candy, and as such McDonald’s caramel shakes are an extremely faithful, and tasty, adaptation of their source material.
As a matter of fact, it’s so good that we were done with our small shakes (which we’d ordered to get those cool cups) before we knew it, so we’ll be going back for seconds sometime before the McShake Morinaga Milk Caramel leaves the McDonald’s menu in mid-October.
[ Read in Japanese ]