We get our hands on one of Japan’s most sought-after souvenirs to find out what makes them so popular.
If there’s one thing we love about Japan, it’s the abundance of delicious limited-edition releases that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Big players like McDonald’s, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have all brought out unusual releases tailored to the Japanese market, and when it comes to the the world of chips, Pringles is leading the way with a whole collection of rare flavours, and one of their most popular offerings is a treat for our eyes as well as our tastebuds.
Takoyaki Pringles is the flavour the country is going crazy for, and after it appeared on the market in Japan last December, it’s become one of the brand’s most sought after varieties. There are many reasons to love this particular release, starting with the fact that it’s so exclusive it’s only available for sale in the Kansai region.
▼ Famous sites from Kansai, like Osaka Tsutenkaku Tower, Kobe Harbour and Kiyomizu-dera from Kyoto, appear on the boxed pack.
The round, fried octopus balls known as takoyaki can be enjoyed all around Japan, but they’re said to be most delicious in Kansai, the area where they were first created.
The takoyaki flavour used in this snack is particularly unusual as it doesn’t contain any actual mayonnaise, one of the toppings commonly seen smothered over the fried balls, but it still tastes as if it does.
The Takoyaki-flavoured Pringles can only be purchased in these boxed packs of three, which have been specially designed so visitors to the Kansai region can buy them as gifts for family and friends back home.
The box features lots of creative details, including images of little round octopus balls…
And a glistening gold-coloured design that features an enticing description of the ingredients, including takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, smoked bonito flakes, and pickled red ginger, which combine to recreate the authentic flavours of Kansai’s specialty dish.
There’s also a note to let people know that these Pringles have been made for Japan, and are a limited-edition product available only for purchase in the Kansai region.
▼ Inside the box are three tins of Takoyaki Pringles.
The beautiful packaging continues on each tin, with a Pringles chip masquerading as a takoyaki cook proudly showing off a prized morsel from the takoyaki stand.
We were keen to pop the lid on these, and as soon as we did, we knew there was a tasty treat in store for us, as the tin was filled with the heady aromas of fried octopus balls.
▼ Each and every chip was well-seasoned with flavour.
On the surface, these looked like ordinary chips, but when we tried one, we found it was unlike any other Pringles release we’d ever tried.
Each mouthful came with layers of different flavour: first there was the distinctive takoyaki sauce, with its sweet, dense richness igniting the tastebuds before opening up to a savoury note resembling the dough of a fried takoyaki ball. The unique Japanese flavours were finished off with a hint of smoky bonito and the creamy taste of mayonnaise, packing an umami hit that kept us reaching out for more and more.
If you’ve ever stood outside a takoyaki stand, eating Osaka’s famous saucy morsels from a boat-shaped paper plate with a toothpick, these chips will take you right back to that moment, with an aroma and flavour that perfectly replicates the taste of takoyaki.
Whether you’re travelling in the Kansai region or know someone who will be, these limited-edition Pringles should definitely be on your wish-list.
The souvenir packs can currently be purchased at souvenir stores throughout the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, and Shiga prefectures) for 600 yen.
Photos © SoraNews24