SweetsSweets are the most well-known sakura themed food items out there, no doubt about that. But what might seem like a recent craze to some of you actually goes way back in history. Lots of traditional Japanese desserts were created using the sweet taste and beautiful color of the cherry blossoms. Nowadays you can get all of your famous Japanese sweets with sakura flavor. It does not stop at simple rice cakes, dango or taiyaki. No, there are cookies, cakes, ice cream cones and way more than that, all combined with the sweetness of sakura. Even famous chain shops have hopped on the sakura train. Some of the more popular examples include Mister Donut featuring pink donuts or the Häagen-Dazs special edition sakura ice cream.
DrinksYou thought sakura could only be combined with solid food? Wrong, because there are all kinds of different drinks that seem to be turning pink as soon as spring comes around. One of the most hyped products is the Red Bull Spring Edition that comes in an appropriate pink can. Or how about some sakura milk tea, soda or even alcohol? There definitely is no limit when it comes to drinks in Japan. If it fits in a bottle, you can be sure to find a sakura version of it.
StarbucksThere are many coffeehouse chains in Japan that offer seasonal drinks - but no one goes as much out of their way as Starbucks. Pink cups, pink merchandise, pink decor and pink drinks! Starbucks in Japan makes sure to remind you what time of the year it is. The multinational chain is always a frontrunner during sakura season and lots of people cannot wait for them to bring out their newest products. Their sakura-themed drinks change slightly from year to year, but you can always be sure to get a sweet and beautiful refreshment. This time around you get to enjoy a sweet combination of sakura with strawberries, so make sure you don’t miss out on that if you plan on visiting Japan anytime soon.
SnacksIf you think sakura flavor can only be combined with sweet treats, think again. Because Japan has figured out a way to make the pink petals work with savory snacks as well. Not just one, but a lot of different companies use sakura to give their well-known treats some new flavors. There is Calbee, for example, who presents some delicious sakura butter flavored chips. Or how about chips that are even shaped to look like the sakura petals themselves? We could go on and on about each specific snack item, but let’s just say that sakura definitely goes with savory and salty treats as well.
McDonald’sSpeaking of savory, there is another big company that has an annual sakura themed menu and it will most likely surprise some of you: McDonald’s! You have heard correctly, just like Starbucks, McDonald’s features an annual sakura menu in Japan and keeps surprising their customers with new culinary inventions. In case you ever wondered how a sakura burger would taste like, now you have the chance to try one. In 2016 you can experience an old favorite, the sweet sakura soda, as well as something new on the side: Japan has introduced ume potato fries that combine salty potatoes with sour plum flavor. No one can say Japan isn’t creative!
With all these pink items you don’t even know where to look at anymore. Japan experiences an annual sakura fever and companies are getting more and more creative at creating delicious sakura snacks. But they aren’t the only ones! Every store seems to turn into a pink wonderland and lots of different products get a special sakura theme or design. Let’s just be thankful that the actual sakura blossoming only lasts for a week - who knows how pink Japan would turn otherwise. Which product surprised you the most and what do you definitely want to try out? Let us know in the comment section down below.