Häagen-Dazs Japan creates “Heart Hunting Campaign” with 11 different hearts hiding in ice creams

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

Now there’s something else to look forward to when opening a tub of ice cream.

Häagen-Dazs Japan has been tantalising frozen dessert lovers over the years with exclusive flavors like Chestnut and Adzuki Red BeanSalty Vanilla and Caramel and even a couple of vegetable varieties. Now they’ve discovered a brand new way to get everyone’s attention, and this time it’s all about looks, with the shape of the ice cream in the tub taking center stage and different names given to the special markings, which are all centered around the love-heart concept.

▼ The new campaign is called “Häagen Heart Hunting”.

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The idea for the fun new marketing plan came about after the company’s creative team tested 1,000 mini ice cream tubs to find what types of shapes naturally appear on the surface after opening the lid. After discovering the shape of a perfect heart in 2 of the 1,000 tubs, it was decided that the other designs could be seen as variations of the love-heart pattern, giving birth to a series of eleven “heart” shapes.

▼ The most coveted marking is the “Clear Heart”, which was found in only two of the 1,000 tubs.

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▼ Also found in only two of the tubs tested was the “Kiss Heart”, which looks like a set of lips, and is said to bring the promise of romance to anyone who finds it.

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▼ Another unique pattern, found in 2.1 percent of samples, is the “Goodbye Heart”, which is divided in the middle, suggesting it’s time to say goodbye and step forward anew.

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▼ At 3.6 percent is the “Baby Heart”, which includes a small crater companion, and is said to bring happiness and new encounters.

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▼ A more common shape is the “Incipient Heart” (7.7 percent), which is just on the verge of taking on a heart-shaped form, like love about to blossom.

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▼ The “Tears Heart” (10.4 percent) features a central tear, suggesting something will move your heart in the near future.

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▼ The “Cheating Heart” (11.1 percent) is bulging out on one side, which can be taken to mean that something may happen to disturb you a little bit.

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▼ More common is the “Gaping Hole Heart” (15.3 percent), which features a floating circle on the surface. Those who come across this shape are said to feel a slight sense of dissatisfaction with the everyday. Which could explain the reason for eating ice cream in the first place…

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▼ And the most common of all, at 26.5 percent, is the “Smile Heart”, which suggests something lovely will happen to make you smile unexpectedly.

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▼ Out of all the hearts in the collection, there are two super rare varieties: the “Positive Heart” which is raised on the surface and has the promise of positivity. It’s said to appear in only 0.1 percent of tubs.

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▼ And the “Perfect Heart”, which is said to make rare, phantom-like appearances, as the most rarefied and beautiful version of the “Clear Heart”. Those who come across a beauty like this are believed to receive incredible happiness.

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Ice cream lovers in Japan have embraced the fun nature of the campaign, posting photos of their findings on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Häagen-Dazs Japan’s new ice cream flavor will taste like yogurt and honey

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RocketNews 24:

Häagen-Dazs Japan has announced another tantalizing new flavor, and we’re already wondering what the combination of dairy and honey will taste like!

Yes, their new mini cup ice cream flavor, scheduled to be released on April 19th at supermarkets and convenience stores across Japan, is going to be “Honey and Milk (Yogurt-style).”

So, does that make this product a yogurt-like ice cream or an ice cream-like yogurt? Well, whichever it is, honey and milk has to be a winning combination, right?

According to the product description on the company’s website, the mini cup Honey and Milk is made of a rich milk-based ice cream prepared with a “yogurt-like flavor” and mixed with a subtly sweet honey sauce. It actually contains heat-sterilized fermented milk, giving it the sour-yet-refreshing taste of yogurt. Add honey sauce to that and the result is bound to be delightful, especially considering how tasty actual yogurt and honey are together!

The Honey and Milk ice cream will come in a 110 milliliter (3.7 ounce) cup at a price of 294 yen (US$2.59).

Black Mont Blanc: The most loved ice cream in Japan you can only buy in Kyushu

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RocketNews 24:

Usually when people talk about “culture shock,” we think of moving to another country–but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. It can be anything from moving from one prefecture to another or even just moving into the city from the country or vice versa.

Of course, you can’t get much more “city” than Tokyo, so, of course, many Japanese people moving here from more rural areas might experience a bit of culture shock. And today we’ll be looking at one such example for one of our Japanese writers who came to the metropolis from Kyushu! Hint: it involves delicious ice cream.

▼We’ve marked Kyushu on the bottom-left and Tokyo on the right.

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Of course, moving from Kyushu to Tokyo isn’t exactly the same as, say, moving to Japan’s capital city from France or Germany, though it certainly does present a host of new things to learn. For Takashi Harada, one of our writers for the Japanese side of RocketNews24, there was naturally a lot to get used to, least not the ocean of people inhabiting the city. But one of the biggest differences for him was the food–to be specific, the lack of a certain ice cream bar.

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Called “Burakku Monburan,” or “Black Mont Blanc,” the ice cream bar (pictured above) is one of the most popular in Kyushu. Unfortunately for homesick Kyushu natives living elsewhere in Japan, the dessert is sold almost exclusively on the mostly-rural island. However, it seems that the ice cream bar is so popular and so common in Kyushu that most who live there never even consider that it’s not really available anywhere else.

In fact, according to our writer, the ice cream is a bit like local “soul food” and everyone from child to adults eat it. So, when Takashi stopped by a local convenience store in Tokyo, he was taken aback to find it wasn’t on any of the shelves. It’s not quite as bad as being allergic to fish in Japan, but it was a bit of a shock to our writers, and we can imagine that it would be enough to ruin your night if you’re really looking for some comfort food after moving halfway across the country!

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It would be like if Garigari-kun suddenly disappeared from all the convenience stores!” he explained. While that might not mean much to you if you’ve never had one of Japan’s most popular popsicles, it would certainly be a shock to most Japanese people.

By now, you’re probably wondering what makes this Black Mont Blanc ice cream bar so special, but it’s apparently just vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate and cookie crumbs. That’s…actually, that sounds really good, even if it is still freezing in Tokyo right now! But it’s not just the ice cream itself–the bar was first produced 45 years ago, and we suspect its long life has been part of cementing its popularity. Kind of like an edible security blanket.

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Now, we mentioned above that it’s almost exclusively sold in Kyushu. Apparently the manufacturer has started branching out a little bit, and you can now find it at limited stores. For example, it’s available at Summit in Tokyo, some 7-Elevens in the Kansai area, and you can buy it online, too.

Häagen-Dazs releases new mochi ice cream

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RocketNews 24:

There are a ton of different ways to eat mochi, with roasting it or dropping it into soup or hot pots being some of the more common. Outside of Japan, though, many people’s first encounter with mochi is in the form of ice cream-filled mochi spheres sold at specialty grocers.

But while they make a tasty treat, what would happen if you reversed the process, and instead of putting ice cream in mochi, put mochi into ice cream? That’s the question posed by Häagen-Dazs new kinako kuromitsu mochi ice cream, and we’re here with the answer.

While this isn’t the American ice cream maker’s first foray into mochi-filled ice cream, it is its first time to offer this particular flavor. Before we dig in, let’s go over that lengthy product name.

Kinako refers to roasted soybean flour, although if you’d never had it before, you might mistake the powdered confectionary condiment for a mild strain of cinnamon. Kuromitsu, meanwhile, a sweet sauce made from brown sugar, and the literal translation of its name, “black honey,” should give you an idea of its dark color and syrupy consistency.

Those of you with a good memory or healthy mental preoccupation with sweets may now be recalling our guide on how to eat Shingen mochi, the representative Japanese dessert of Yamanashi Prefecture that’s named after the region’s feudal period warlord Takeda Shingen. As a matter of fact, no sooner did the kinako kuromitsu mochi ice cream go on sale than Internet users in Japan started spreading the word about how much it resembled Shingen mochi, and how happy their taste buds were about that.

 

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Many sweets fans in Japan claim Häagen-Dazs tastes best if you let it sit and get just a little melty first. Following their advice, we set our cup out on the desk, gazed deeply into the eyes of our giant Mr. Sato sticker plastered on the wall, and waited.

A few minutes later we were ready to tear into our snack. Before we did, though, we noticed a warning on the lid, cautioning us “When opening, please remove the lid slowly to prevent contents from scattering.” So, using the last shreds of our willpower, we peeled the lid of carefully, and once we saw what was waiting underneath, we were glad we did!

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There is a ton of kinako inside. Honestly, it’s a complete layer that entirely covers the ice cream. Well, technically it’s covering the mochi, and that’s covering the ice cream.

Once again, being careful not to make a gigantic mess by spilling powder all over the room, we gently inserted our spoon. As we raised it towards our mouth, the mochi stretched out with its characteristic elasticity.

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For our first bite, we made sure we had all the players, kinako, kuromitsu, mochi, and ice cream, accounted for in the same spoonful, and the result was glorious. The kuromitsu’s rich flavor, coupled with the milky notes of the ice cream and the wonderful aroma of the kinako, made this a mouthful of cross-cultural decadence. While we can understand why it reminds some people of Shingen mochi, to us, its creamy quality made the flavor more like a kuromitsu milk shake.

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Taking minute bites, we also sampled the delicious ice cream, kinako, and kuromistu separately, and found that each ingredient is indeed pulling its own weight. Speaking of weight, the kinako kuromitsu mochi ice cream has just 235 calories per container. So while it may not be quite as healthy as non-dessert mochi, it’s definitely something you can afford to treat yourself to once in a while.

Melon topped with ice cream: two great Hokkaido tastes in one crazily delicious package

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RocketNews 24:

Japan sure loves its parfaits, and while they all come with tasty toppings, the most highly regarded come crowned with fruit. But what if you turned the concept on its head, and instead took a piece of premium produce, then added a cone’s worth of ice cream on top?

You’d have our newest dessert infatuation: the fresh melon soft serve.

Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is known for a number of local delicacies, including salmon and sea urchin. It’s also where you’ll find some of Japan’s biggest dairies, plus its most highly regarded growing region for melons.

The bright minds with sweet teeth at confectioner Sapporo Yaokyu decided to combine the powers of those last two when they created the fresh melon soft serve. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go all the way to Hokkaido to try it. Instead, we waited for the dessert to come to us, or at least to Tokyo, where the Furusato Matsuri is being held until January 18.

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The event’s name translates as the Hometown Festival, but really it’s one of Tokyo’s biggest food fairs. Representatives coming from across Japan gather inside Tokyo Dome to serve meals and snacks to hungry visitors, and right in the middle of the floor space you’ll find the Hokkaishokudo, a cluster of restaurants from Hokkaido. They all looked delicious, but we passed by the local takes on ramen, seafood, and beer. Instead, we went straight to the Sapporo Yaokyu booth, where there was already a short line of people waiting to place their order.

▼ We’re not sure why Funasshi, the anthropomorphic pear from Chiba Prefecture, shows up on Sapporo Yaokyu’s signage.

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As we waited for our turn, we noticed that the fresh melon soft serve is available in three sizes, small, medium, and large, priced at 1,000 yen (US$8.33), 1,300 yen ($11), and 1,500 yen ($12.78), respectively. With all of the tasty food offered at the event, we weren’t surprised that most people were asking for the small, but even though we were feeling pretty stuffed ourselves, we decided to buck the trend and get ourselves a large.

▼ Because even before we took a single bite, we knew we were going to want to eat as much of this as possible.

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They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we don’t think that applies to desserts. After all, they don’t have covers in the first place. Sometimes you can tell you’re in for a taste treat just by looking at one, and that was clearly the message the striking contrast of orange-hued melon and pure white ice cream was sending us.

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Really, the whole thing is so enticing we were tempted to just bury our face in it and start gnawing away. Just before we could do that, though, we remembered that we were in public, and, more importantly, that we had a spoon.

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So how does it taste? Amazing, obviously! The refreshing sweetness of the melon and the richness of the ice cream hit your taste buds at the same time. The effect is incredible, and we’re not ashamed to say that for a moment, we found ourselves calling on some higher power to stop time so we could linger longer over the bliss the fresh melon soft serve was enveloping our consciousness with.

Sadly, time continued unabated, and before long we found ourselves running out of both melon and ice cream.

▼ Although as consolation, when the juices of the fruit mix with the melting cream it tastes fantastic.

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The Furusato Matsuri runs until January 18, with the doors opening at 10 a.m. each day. Popular items like the fresh melon soft serve tend to sell out before the day is done, though, so just to be on the safe side, you might want to make the Sapporo Yaokyu booth your first stop.

▼ After all, a little fruit to start your day sounds like a sensible breakfast, doesn’t it?

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How to make Taiwan’s famous ‘Ice Cream Burrito’

http://960225.dreamwidth.org/tag/taiwan+2013

 

Audrey Magazine:

Yes, you read that correctly. An ice cream burrito.

Found around Taiwan’s famous night markets, the ice cream wrap features peanut candy shavings and a spring-roll crepe cover. There is a savory version of this with pork, cabbage and ground peanuts that is a long-standing, traditional dish. However, it’s the tart ice cream and crunchy peanut candy that makes the sweet version such a hit, starting from its origins in Yilan to trendy settings in Taipei.

 

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The ice cream burrito, which can be found all over Taipei’s night markets, comes in various versions such as pineapple, taro and peanut ice cream.

And how exactly does one make this famous treat? First, the crepe is made and laid out. The peanut shavings are then placed on top of it and three scoops of ice cream are set onto that. Then there’s another layer of peanut candy shavings plus the optional coriander. The treat is then folded up like a burrito and put in a to-go bag for you to hold as you explore the rest of the night market.

 

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Another popular option is to include cilantro, which is reminiscent of cilantro in other sweet treats such as mango salsa. All of these options do not disappoint! They serve as another example of the creative and delicious food adventures found in the nooks of Taiwan night markets.

 

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Homemade run bing with pineapple and peanut ice cream

INGREDIENTS:
Make one flavor of ice cream if you prefer, or use shop-bought. Serves 6.
For the pineapple ice cream: 400g tin pineapple or 300g fresh pineapple, chopped ½ tin condensed milk 400ml double cream
For the peanut ice cream: ½ tin condensed milk 500ml double cream 125g peanut butter
For the brittle: Butter, for greasing 100g roasted, salted peanuts 150g caster sugar

Assemble:
6 frozen spring roll wrappers, defrosted
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Method:
To make the pineapple ice cream, put the fruit (drained, if using tinned) in a food processor or whizz with a stick blender to a smooth puree.

1. In a separate bowl, whisk the condensed milk and cream to stiff peaks, then fold through the fruit puree, mixing fully or leaving slightly marbled, if you like.
Pour into a lidded, plastic, freezer-proof container, then freeze until firm, around 4 hours.

2. To make the peanut ice cream, put all the ingredients in a bowl then whisk to stiff peaks. Pour into a lidded, plastic, freezer-proof container, then freeze until firm, around 4 hours.

3. Next, make the brittle. Grease a small baking tin, then put the peanuts in a large, dry frying pan, then, over a medium heat, toast until golden. Add a pinch of salt, then add the sugar, swirling, but not stirring, the pan, until the sugar has melted and turned to a dark golden color. Pour into the baking tin and allow to harden.

4. To assemble, lay a spring roll wrapper on a work surface, then grate or crumble over a generous amount of peanut brittle. Top with three scoops of ice cream – just peanut, just pineapple, or a mixture, if you like – then add more brittle and a scattering of coriander.
Working quickly, fold in the top and bottom of the wrapper, then roll up. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers, and eat immediately.

Tokyo ice cream stand features colossal eight-flavor cones

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RocketNews 24:

 

Tokyo’s Nakano Broadway is mainly known for its anime specialty shops, but that’s not all you’ll find if you make your way to each corner of the shopping center’s labyrinthine interior. Inside you’ll also come across an old-school video arcade, suit tailor, watch store, and painting workshop for tabletop role-playing game lead miniatures.

But what we’re talking about today is what awaits visitors in Nakano Broadway’s basement: just about the biggest ice cream cones we’ve ever seen.

 

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Daily Chico offers a pretty extensive selection of ice cream flavors. Aside from old standbys like chocolate and vanilla, customers have spotted green apple, banana, yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus fruit), caramel, and even sesame on the rotating menu. With so many tempting choices, it can be hard to pick just one or two, which is why Daily Chico’s fans are thankful for the stand’s extra-large cone.

 

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In case you’re too busy wiping the drool off your smartphone or keyboard to count, that’seight different flavors piled atop each other. Starting from the top, there’s Tochi Otome strawberry, chocolate, mocha, vanilla, melon, grape, matcha green tea, and finally ramune (a popular type of Japanese fizzy cider).

 

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Some might argue that’s enough ice cream to last for a lifetime, but Daily Chico actually gives customers a reason to come back and order another after enough time has passed. While you can pick what flavors you want for small and regular size orders, the eight varieties in the extra-large cone are pre-set but change periodically.

 

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Even the regular size, seen here on the left, is a pretty generous portion.

 

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Speaking of generous, the extra-large cone is incredibly cheap, with a price of just 390 yen (US $3.60).

Satisfied customers report that Daily Chico’s ice cream isn’t overly sweet, meaning that some true fans can polish off a whole jumbo cone by themselves. Not everyone is up to such a challenge, though, and you’ll also see couples and families sharing one of the colossal treats.

By the way, if you feel the need for a more nutritious meal before tearing into the gigantic octo-snack, Daily Chico also serves udon.

 

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It looks like it tastes pretty good, too. Still, we can’t help but feel all those noodles would just take up precious stomach real estate that could be used for more ice cream.

 

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Restaurant information
Daily Chico / デイリーチコ
Address: Tokyo-to, Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-52-15, Nakano Broadway, basement level 1
東京都中野区中野5-52-15 中野ブロードウェイ B1F
Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.