”What’s the best flavor for a French fry sundae?” is a question we never had to answer…until now!

Earlier this month, Japanese fast food chain First Kitchen announced that it was going to start selling French fry sundaes. We’re not sure how First Kitchen’s product development team managed to see into our dessert-based fever dreams. We’re just thankful that they did, and since they were kind enough to make those dreams a reality, we figured the least we could do was try both of the new menu items.

So we hurried to our local branch of First Kitchen as soon as its Dessert Potatoes went on sale, and ordered one of each.

We started off with the 450-yen (US$4) Choco Sundae Potato. This wasn’t our first time to try chocolate French fries, but it was our first to have ice cream and sprinkles added to the mix. The resulting combination is every bit as delicious as it sounds, and definitely worth ordering.

But what really intrigued us was the Cream Zenzai Potato (also 450 yen). Zenzai is a traditional soup-like Japanese dessert made with sweet red beans, often accompanied by chestnuts. Both of those are present here, as is kuromitsu, an old-school Japanese sugar syrup.

We weren’t sure how these Japanese ingredients would pair with the Western-sourced French fries and vanilla ice cream. Would the flavors clash with each other, producing a discordant bickering in our taste buds like an international conference that dissolves into petty squabbling among the participating nations?

No, not at all.

Actually, there are many Japanese dessert cafes that already serve zenzai with ice cream, so we knew that those parts of the Cream Zenzai Potato package would go well together. As for the French fries, they fit in wonderfully, with their saltiness drawing out even more of the sweet notes of the Hokkaido-sourced ogura red beans and vanilla ice cream (salty vanilla is, after all, a popular ice cream flavor in its own right in Japan). The warmth of the fries also gives the ice cream an enticingly melty texture, something that happens with the Choco Sundae Potato too.

So which is better? It depends on your preferences and experiences. You can’t go wrong with the Choco Sundae Potato, but if you’ve already tried chocolate French fries in some other capacity, or simply want a more uniquely Japanese taste, the Cream Zenzai Potato represents an even rarer dessert opportunity. Really, the best thing to do is skip the main course of your fast food meal entirely, and just order both.

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