Alongside the famed Tokyo University, Kyoto University is definitely one of the top universities in Japan, known in particular for their innovative scientific research. It so happens that the university is currently holding its annual Open Campus event from August 6 to 8, and many prospective students are sure to be visiting for a chance to take a look inside one of the most prestigious institutes of learning in Japan.

Visitors to this year’s event may be surprised to find out, however, that they’ll be able to try a dessert made using a very unique ingredient indeed, and one that was discovered by one of the university’s own research teams — a bacterium found in the gut of gorillas!

The bacterium that has now become a key ingredient in a yummy-looking cake was found in 2009 by a research team led by the university’s current president, Juichi Yamagiwa. Named Lactobacillus gorillae, the bacterium was discovered from the west lowland gorillas native to the African republic of Gabon, and now, Kyoto University students have cooked up a baked cheesecake containing yogurt made from the bacterium.

▼Here’s the cheesecake in the flesh; it actually looks pretty good! Each plate comes with one ginger flavored and one banana flavored piece of cheesecake each, for a price of 399 yen (US$3.20), served at the university’s Italian restaurant only during the Open Campus event and limited to 50 plates each day.

The cheesecake, called the “Gorilla Fromage“, was created by a group of students as part of the “Let’s Make Some Original Goods Featuring the New University President Project” (Atarashii Sochou Goods wo Tsukuro! Project) as a kind of tribute to Yamagiwa, who recently took on the position of university president last October. As Yamagiwa is noted for his research of gorillas, one of the goods was bound to be gorilla-themed, but the students certainly stayed true to the theme in this case, creating a product with an ingredient that was actually taken from a gorilla!

▼ President Yamagiwa looks quite happy tasting the cheesecake that was created in his honor! He says, “I hope guests eat this cake, feel like a gorilla and try seeing the world from a different perspective.”

Depending on how well it sells, the university is saying the cheesecake could become a regular item on the menu. Wouldn’t that be great, being able to have “Gorilla cheesecake” any time at one of the top universities in Japan? An academic and tasty experience — now, that’s what we call  a “monkey” of a time!

Source: Naver Matome (Japanese), Jiji.com (Japanese)
Top image: Wikipedia (Photo by Greg Hume)