We’ve always got space for dessert, and today we’ve got space for space dessert!

Deep-space probe Hayabusa2 recently arrived at the asteroid 162173 Ryugu, after a journey of four years. But although we’re happy for the scientists at Japanese space agency JAXA, we’re just as happy that our own wait (of an excruciating two weeks) has come to an end, with the release of a limited-time dessert commemorating Hayabusas’s scientific achievement.

The special sweet is available at branches of Lawson and Natural Lawson, the same convenience store group that bestowed upon us the gorgeous water crystal-like dessert that entranced us last summer.

Once again, Lawson has created a dessert that’s beautiful and captivatingly quivery, based on suggestions for a space-themed treat timed to coincide with Hayabusa2’s arrival at Ryugu. Called the Butterfly Pea Tea Jiggly Water Gelatin (or Butterfly Pea Tea Pururun Mizu Jelly, in Japanese), the star flavor of this astrologically inspired dessert is butterfly pea flower tea, which when brewed as a beverage has a striking blue color and the taste of lemongrass.

Packaged in a clear dome, the dessert itself can be a little hard to see in the condensation-conducive conditions of a humid Japanese summer. Open the lid, though

…and inside you’ll find a mysterious half-sphere that somehow seems to simultaneously absorb and reflect light.

In order to recreate the twinkling effect of the starry sky, Lawson has added a few flakes of gold powder to the gelatin. For a more obvious salute to the dessert’s inspiration, there are also illustrated planets and stars on the wrapper, which can be seen through the translucent gelatin.

After removing it from the plastic outer packaging, you may be tempted to give the gelatin a little squeeze. Go right ahead, as it’s got enough structural integrity to handle it, as long as you’re gentle.

But surprisingly, as dark as the dessert looks in the above photo, it only shows its true color when you put it on a lighter-colored dish.

It’s actually closer to lavender than black. However, the way in which the dessert plays with the light means that it can take on various hues depending on what sort of plate you present it on (thankfully it’s sturdy enough to withstand being slid from one to another).

▼ The wrapper

With all this visual appeal and variety, you can almost forget that you’re supposed to eat it. But that is, of course, why we’re here, and so…

The texture is a bit firmer than most gelatins, but not tough or chewy. The initial sensation is one of light yet citrusy lemon, which has a nice, refreshing effect on a summer night, especially if you’re eating the gelatin immediately after taking it out of the refrigerator.

▼ The gelatin’s firmness means that with each bite, you’ve got a new collection of angles and light refractions to enjoy, making it a fantastic choice if you like playing with your food.

As the lemon fades from your taste buds, what comes next are slightly tannic herbal tea notes, with lemongrass taking on the transitional duties.

Oddly enough, one thing the gelatin isn’t is sweet. There’s hardly a trace of anything saccharine in its flavor profile. Nevertheless, it remains an enticingly tasty dessert from start to finish, thanks to its extremely clean aftertaste.

In the end, Lawson’s Butterfly Pea Tea Jiggly Water Gelatin is not only beautiful and delicious, but also, as strange as this may sound for a convenience store dessert, extremely interesting to eat. Between its color, shape, and flavor, it’s constantly playing with your perceptions and expectations, and surprises without ever outright betraying them. Priced at just 180 yen (US$1.60), it serves as an edible example of the wonders of Japanese convenience stores, and, by extension, the universe.

Related: Lawson location finder
Photos ©SoraNews24

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