Häagen-Dazs Japan is no stranger to releasing unusual flavors of ice cream that never seem to miss the mark. Since fall is the time of all things sweet potato in Japan (as seen everywhere from KFC to Starbucks), we couldn’t pass up a chance to try the ice cream company’s latest limited-edition release in their luxury “My Sweet” line of treats: mitsuimo tart (“caramelized sweet potato tart”), now being sold exclusively at Lawson and Natural Lawson convenience stores in Japan for 346 yen.
We were curious how this new tart entry would stack up to last fall’s straightforward mitsuimo flavor and other past offerings such as orange sweet potato. Right off the bat, we noticed that last year’s flavor was made using a type of sweet potato called beni haruka mitsuimo, but this year’s is using silk sweet mitsuimo, so that’s one key difference already.
In general, mitsuimo are a high-water, high-sugar variety of potato that when cooked are golden in color and seep a natural honey-like syrup, so they certainly seem to pair well with any kind of sweet dessert. The promotional image for the mitsuimo tart flavor at Lawson got us even more excited to try it out.
It was all we could do not to rip the cover off before we got home. We figured that the ice cream would have a smooth, silky texture like honey, and the anticipation was real. Upon peeling away the covering, a glossy surface not unlike the caramelized sugar top of crème brulée greeted us. It was, quite simply, beautiful.
Once we dipped the spoon in, we realized that the dessert consisted of layers–first, a golden, syrup-like coating and then a whitish ice cream body. It certainly made for a pleasing visual effect.
A bite then revealed a truly delicious sweet potato taste in both the ice cream and the top syrupy layer.
▼ From an artistic angle, this glaze was truly magnificent.
The ice cream part also had hints of something crunchy like graham crackers, which paired together magnificently with the mitsuimo taste. That added crunch must be what the tart part of the flavor’s name was all about.
If you can get your hands on one of these cups in the near future, we recommend sampling each of the layers individually first and then digging your spoon all the way to the bottom to try everything at once. The top syrup-like layer would also pair excellently with regular vanilla ice cream or other flavors–if only they sold that in bottles…
Here’s hoping that Japan’s sweet potato crop won’t be hit too hard next year and we’ll have a new form of sweet potato ice cream to look forward to as well.
Reference: Haägen-Dazs Japan
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