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Japan Ice Cream Addicts Get Weird New Haagen-Dazs Flavors For Summer

Japanese ice cream flavors for the world to envy. (Image: Norio NAKAYAMA via flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Japanese ice cream flavors for the world to envy. (Image: Norio NAKAYAMA via flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

When it comes to companies putting out new flavors of well-known product lines, for some reason they are more likely to release them in Japan and other parts of Asia. There are flavors of ice cream that people in America and Europe might not even know exist.

It seems companies are a lot more experimental in Asian markets. Premium ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs is releasing a couple of distinct new flavors for Japanese consumers alone to enjoy for the summer.

These new flavors are carefully crafted the same way Haagen-Dazs makes its more conventional flavors, except they go even further by sourcing some trendy flavor additives from impressive sources.

For Haagen-Dazs’s new Salty Vanilla and Caramel flavor, they aren’t sprinkling any average table salt in there and calling it a day. They are getting premium rock salt from France. And the faint and dainty swirls of caramel are less sweet than they are almost burnt tasting.

The other flavor being put out is the elegantly Asian-sounding Japonais Black Syrup Kinako Adzuki. Haagen-Dazs has been making flavors exclusive to its “Japonais” line of ice creams since 2013. The unique treats are distinctly Japanese and only available for purchase in Japan’s 7-Elevens.

Ice cream addicts from other parts of the world will have to suffer in silence, sorry. Black Syrup Kinako Adzuki ice cream features a less sweet and somewhat bitter brown sugar syrup ice mixed with toasted soy bean flour and adzuki beans.

Adzuki beans are sometimes called aduki beans, and outside of Japan they are usually called red bean. Red bean is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes and snacks, often sweetened and made into a paste used as a filling.

Holding the whole dessert together and forming its core, offsetting the uniquely Asian ingredients is Haagen-Dazs’s brand of premium vanilla ice cream. Creamy sweet Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream is world-renowned, and sits comfortably with its exotic flavor-rich companions.

Beneath the brownish top layer lies the vanilla, into which chewy whole red beans are mixed. At the bottom of the whole thing sits the brown sugar syrup, a traditional Japanese syrup transformed into a sorbet. The entire dessert taken together is a spectacular feat of texture and flavor combination.

It’s too bad that ice cream can’t be easily transported in suitcases so foodie travelers can take a few cases back to the home country. As Rocket News 24 mentions, the Salty Vanilla and Caramel is sold for about US$2.60. The Japonais Black Syrup Kinako Adzuki sells for about US$3.40.

These are far from the only unique flavors Haagen-Dazs sells in Japan; they are only two of the newest. Upon entering the ice cream aisle of a store in Japan, you are likely to be overwhelmed with the tremendous amount of exotic flavor options.

Upon seeing internationally known companies like Haagen-Dazs selling such wild, cold, sweet concoctions, you will wonder why they keep such treasures solely in one country. It makes the flavors available abroad seem very conventional by comparison.

Tsunagu Japan reports a full 40 flavors of Haagen-Dazs ice cream sold only in Japan. Some of these flavors are even more distinct than what we’ve already discussed. Flavors like Purple Yam, Sakura Cherry Blossom, and even Rose flavor are enjoyed in Japan.

There are even vegetable-flavored ice creams like Tomato Cherry and Carrot Orange. The Cocoa Cookie and Coffee Almond sounds worth the price of the plane ticket alone. I know that you guys are probably thinking I should find a healthier and more fulfilling hobby than seeking out cool ice cream flavors.

Trust me, I hear you and I’m working on it. I’ll slowly get over this fattening hobby of mine. But until then, let’s just focus on making the portions smaller.

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