Tangy, refreshing flavor comes courtesy of one of west Japan’s most beloved fruits.

As we move into the second half of May, we’re quickly running out of time in which to enjoy Japan’s traditional springtime delicacies. But even as we quietly shed a bittersweet tear over having to part with our beloved sakura sweets until next year, we take heart in looking forward to the tart, tangy treats that make use of the wide variety of Japanese citrus fruits that come into season in summer.

The Japanese arm of premium American ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs, as always, is ready to help us fill the blank spaces in our dessert-planning calendar. Next week sees the release of Hyuganatsu Panna Cotta Pie, Häagen-Dazs’ newest temptation. While “hyuganatsu” may make anime fans think of a similarly named character in ninja franchise Naruto, in this case its referring to the hyuganatsu citrus fruit.

Like many of Japan’s citrus varieties, the southwestern island of Kyushu and the west end of the country’s main island of Honshu are the primary hyuganatsu-growing regions. Tarter than an orange but far sweeter than a lemon, hyuganatsu reach their peak deliciousness shortly after the end of spring.

▼ Hello, hyuganatsu

Häagen-Dazs’ Hyuganatsu Panna Cotta Pie mixes buttery bits of pie crust into rich panna cotta ice cream, then drizzles hyuganatsu sauce over the top for an elegant combination of flavors that the company says is “perfect for early summer.” Despite the elegant-sounding ingredients, it’s priced at an affordable 294 yen (US$2.65), and you won’t have to venture into the heartland of hyuganatsu farming to get it either, as the new flavor will be available (for a limited time) at Lawson and Natural Lawson convenience store branches nationwide starting May 23.

Source: Press release/Nikkei Keizai Shimbun
Top image: Wikipedia/Grinsebinchen~commonswiki
Insert images: Press release/Nikkei Keizai Shimbun, Wikipedia/Marubatsu (edited by SoraNews24)
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s been ready for summer to start since October 1.

[ Read in Japanese ]