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What’s the best way to ring in the New Year? Participate in a nation-wide food ranking competition, of course! Japan loves to make lists, and everyone checks them twice to see where they rank on all the big sites. But in a country that loves food, competition is always fierce to see which area of Japan has the best local delicacy.

Yamazaki Baking Co. has a set of sandwiches that are called the “Lunch Pack“. Two pieces of white bread are sandwiched together and filled with a variety of ingredients. This year, seven lucky fillings are facing off to become the most popular Lunch Pack of them all! Find out how you can participate and what exciting flavors hope to be eaten after the jump.

Lunch Pack in Japan is probably not the most popular item in a convenience store. You see them all the time, but the fillings range from fairly normal, like peanut cream, to “should this processed meat be sitting on the shelf with no refrigeration?” In essence, they amount to Lunchables. Processed cheese and meats with crackers and some sort of sweet…something. However, just because these Lunch Packs aren’t the healthiest thing on the shelf, doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be tasty.

lunch pack 3Image: Hankyu Hanshin

The new yummy Yamazaki treats are duking it out to become the most popular flavor in Japan. It’s not just tastiness on the line, it’s local pride!

From over 100 candidates, Yamazaki Baking Co. narrowed the field down to only seven contenders. The final seven flavors come from all over Japan ranging from East Japan, Central Japan, and the Japan Sea Side, to the Kinki Region (Osaka/Kyoto area), Shikoku and Kyushu.

Are you ready to learn which local delicacy you will soon be stuffing your face with?

lunch pack 5Image: Yamazaki Pan

Yubari Melon Cream with Whipped Cream (富良野産メロンのクリーム&ホイップ)
A melon puree cream and whipped cream sandwich using the famous Yubari melon from Hokkaido.

Joshu Beef Croquette (上州牛肉入りコロッケ)
A beef croquette and sauce sandwich featuring Joshu beef from Gunma Prefecture.

Matsuzaka Beef Croquette (松坂牛肉入りコロッケ)
A sandwich with Matsuzaka beef from Mie Prefecture and tartar sauce.

Goro Island Gold Potato, Red Beans and Margarine (五郎島金時芋あん&マーガリン)
A sandwich with Goro Island Gold Potatoes from Ishikawa Prefecture, red beans and margarine

Hamburg (ハンバーグ)
A hamburg with a demi-glace sauce featuring Kobe wine.

Custard Cream and Whipped Cream (カスタードクリーム&ホイップ)
A sandwich made with custard cream made from Hiruzen Jersey Milk (Okayama Prefecture) and whipped cream

Kagoshima Black Pork Fried Meat Cutlet (鹿児島県産黒豚メンチカツ)
A Kagoshima black pork sandwich with a mustard/mayonnaise type dressing.

lunch pack 6Image: Lococom

Sounds like a competition fit for our taste buds. But if we had to put our money where our mouths are, please give us the Kagoshima Black Pork Lunch Pack first. It sounds the most appetizing of all. If you are wondering which one is winning so far, rankings of the most popular Lunch Pack are shown on the Yamazaki Baking Co. website starting on December 26. If you get the chance to try them and your flavor isn’t number one, get back out there and buy, buy, buy! It’s like an AKB48 popularity contest, but the winner/loser is your stomach. Get your fill as these special sandwiches will be sold only until the end of January.

Source: Nari Nari
Top Image: Gigazine