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Walk into any Japanese convenience store during the colder part of the year, and along with such welcome refreshments as heated cans of coffee and bottles of tea you’ll find a case of steamed buns. The orthodox version is stuffed with minced pork and vegetables, but curry and pizza sauce steamed buns are pretty easy to find, too.

Some convenience stores even offer sweet varieties, like 7-Eleven is doing now with its chocolate cream steamed buns. Since they’ve been released just in time for Valentine ’s Day, they’re even shaped like little pink hearts. Or, that was the plan at least, but to some people, they look more like little pink butts.

The 100-yen (US$0.85) chocolate cream heart streamed buns are produced for 7-Eleven by Nakamuraya, a Tokyo-based company that’s been in the steamed bun business for decades. Looking at the official photos for the product, we can see that Nakamuraya has created a treat that’s romantic and cute, albeit in an understated way that allows you to eat it guilt-free.

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▼ Chocolate cream is a welcome substitute for the tears more commonly associated with broken hearts.

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There’s actually been a bit of a boom in uniquely shaped steamed buns over the last few years in Japan. Some of them end up looking pretty close to their original inspiration, like the one modeled after Frozen’s Olaf that we recently ate/slashed up the face of.

However, there’s a reason why you won’t find many historically significant works of art rendered in the steamed bun medium in museums, and it’s not because starving artists keep eating them when the security guards aren’t looking. On occasion, all of that heat and moisture involved in the cooking process can cause the bun’s shape to lose some of its definition. This is something we ran into with the Doraemon steamed bun we tried a while back, in which the loveable anime robot cats’ eyes were crossed.

There’re obviously no facial features to worry about with 7-Eleven’s heart buns. Still, all of that steam does make them a little droopy, and the design of the steamer means that instead of seeing the treats from the same top-down angle Nakamuraya photographed them at, they look like this before being removed from the case.

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Instead of a triple helping of love, the photographer is getting a six-cheek parade of butts.

It’s worth pointing out that if you look closely, you can see the store’s shopping space beyond the steamer case, which means that only the 7-Eleven employees, and not customers, are getting this crack-filled view. It might not even be fair to saddle 7-Eleven and Nakamuraya with all of the blame for the unintentional comedy hidden in the design, either, as some historians have speculated that the heart shape itself was derived from the appearance of a shapely pair of buttocks.

More importantly, in the handful of days since the heart steamed buns went on sale, no one has complained about them tasting like sweaty backsides, as the flavor seems to be nothing but pleasingly tasty chocolate. So if you’ve got a craving for a sweet piece of booty, fire up your Sir Mix-a-Lot playlist and hightail it to 7-Eleven.

Source: Twitter via Hamster Sokuho
Top image: Twitter (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Nakamuraya, Twitter