As we follow the Chinese zodiac here in Japan, we too are celebrating the Year of the Sheep this year. Not surprisingly, that means we’ve seen an abundance of sheep-themed products for the New Year, including some in edible form. Famous bakery chain DONQ is just one of the many companies that offered such sheep-related food items, and their selection of sheep breads was so cute, we simply had to share them with you. Just take a look at the pictures, and we think they’ll get you in the mood to start off the Year of the Sheep in good cheer!
Headquartered in the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, DONQ has been in business for nearly 110 years, with over 120 stores across Japan. Befitting a chain spread across the country, they sold a variety of sheep-shaped breads in different areas of Japan over the New Year’s holiday, and while they’ve now finished selling these breads, the different creative designs certainly make for entertaining viewing. So, here are pictures of the baked sheep goodies from DONQ according to the area where they were sold:
●Hokkaido Area: “Fluffy Lamb Bread” and “Happy Red and White Sheep Bread Set“
The set of two sheep breads in the center, done in the traditionally lucky colors of red and white, contained strawberry cream cheese and custard cream respectively, and was priced at 389 yen (US$3.25). The slightly smaller white “lamb” breads surrounding the red and white sheep contained custard cream and sold for 260 yen ($2.16)
●Kanto Area: “Chinese Zodiac (Eto) Bread Sheep“
These fellas, who look like they’re sleeping blissfully, were melon breads filled with custard cream and cost 281 yen ($2.35) each.
●Tokai Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)“
These cute sheep-year breads with googly eyes were made from melon bread and priced at 238 yen ($1.99).
●Kyoto/Hokuriku Area: “Fluffy Sheep“
These soft-looking sheep breads were filled with chocolate cream inside and sold for 303 yen ($2.53).
●Kobe Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)” and “Osechi Cuisine Bread“
In the front here we have smiling sheep breads that were filled with chocolate cream, priced at 238 yen ($1.99). The set of New Year’s osechi cuisine-themed breads in the back cost 562 yen ($4.70) and included snapper-shaped bread containing custard cream, melon bread in the shape of a traditional hagoita wooden paddle, crispy prawn crackers and bread filled with chestnut and sweet potato paste.
●Chugoku/Shikoku Area: “Mr./Ms. Sheep “
These sheep shaped creations contained custard cream and sold for 281 yen ($2.35). The chocolate legs look precious!
●Kyushu Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)”
These adorable round sheep with a white cookie-like surface were priced at 281 yen ($2.35).
There were also two beautiful sheep breads from Johan, another bakery chain belonging to the DONQ group:
● (Johan) Kanto Area: “The Dream Pursuing Sheep 2015“
This artistic bread was made from a cocoa flavored base bread filled with raspberry jam and chocolate cream and was priced at 260 yen ($2.18).
●(Johan) Nagoya Area: Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
And the last of the sheep breads from the DONQ group this year is this soft-looking creation filled with custard cream, which sold for 260 yen ($2.18).
So what did you think of all the darling little sheep in baked and edible form? They look absolutely sweet, and judging from the descriptions with all those custard and chocolate creams, we’re sure they tasted plenty sweet too. The time for New Year’s bread may be over for this year, but we’ll certainly be looking forward to lovely zodiac breads from DONQ again next year, when it will be the Year of the Monkey. Until then, we wish you a splendid Year of the Sheep!