You probably know from reading this site that people in Japan love ice cream. And it goes without saying that they love rice! So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised to find that rice-flavored ice cream is a thing.

On a recent trip to Kyushu, I spotted these very aesthetically pleasing one-serving ice creams at a gift shop. What can I say? I’m a sucker for clean package design. And ice cream.


On closer inspection, something else stood out. Mango, milk, green tea… these are all common flavors in Japan. But genmai?! That’s brown rice for those of you that don’t speak romanized Japanese, by the way.

▼This stuff.


Photo: Wikipedia

Now, I actually like genmai quite a lot, but it’s not really a flavor I imagine translating well to a creamy dessert product. So I had to try it. In the name of research, of course.


The company, as you can see above, is from Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, an area famous for meat and dairy production. And with an all-natural ingredients list that included milk from Jersey cows and sweeteners like beet sugar and honey, not to mention actual brown rice, I was pretty confident it would be high-quality, but would it be tasty?


It was! Really tasty, as a matter of fact. Although I can’t say that the flavor reminded me on genmai at all. It tasted rather strongly of kinako, the toasted soy powder that you find on some Japanese-style sweets.

I also love kinako.

Whatever the flavor, it was creamy and kind of buttery and wholly delicious and gone way, way too fast. Sadly, I was already on the bus and couldn’t go back for more. Life is full of little disappointments, but I try to soldier on.

Aso Natural Ice doesn’t seem to be widely available outside of Kumamoto, but if you live in Japan, they do have an online store and domestic shipping so you can try genmai ice cream or one of their other unique flavors like carrot, tomato or vanilla egg for yourself.

Photos © RocketNews24