New treats are exclusive to Japanese convenience stores and a compelling reason to keep eating frozen desserts even as the weather gets colder.

While Japanese sweets fans have pretty wide palates, often the surest path to success for foreign confectioners in the country is to take the know-how acquired in their home markets and mix it with Japanese flavors and dessert traditions. Recently we’ve seen McDonald’s do just that with its strawberry matcha green tea Frappe, plus Starbucks with the release of a kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) Frappuccino, and now it’s Cold Stone’s turn.

The Cold Stone Creamery Shiratama Creamy Zenzai is now on sale, and while even a partial understanding of the name is probably enough to have many people ready to buy it, if you’ve got an abundance of willpower and/or linguistics-oriented curiosity, allow us to walk you through the components. Shiratama are bite-sized dumplings made of sticky mochi rice cake, and zenzai refers to a traditional Japanese dessert made with sweet red azuki beans.

Together, those give the frozen treat a soft and chewy center. The outer layer, meanwhile, is crisp chocolate with kuromitsu (sweet brown sugar syrup) flavoring and bits of almond. Separating the dessert’s shell and core is a stratum of creamy vanilla ice cream made with milk from Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island and biggest dairy producer. And if all that wasn’t Japanese enough, the ice cream pop’s pink color and five-pointed shape bring to mind a sakura cherry blossom (at least until you’re no longer able to resist the temptation of eating it).

The Cold Stone Creamery Shiratama Creamy Zenzai is available exclusively at 7-Eleven branches across Japan. Priced at 250 yen (US$2.20), it’s an affordable and irresistible indulgence, and unlike the Russian roulette bread that’s also on sale right now at Japanese convenience stores, it’s a snack you can enjoy with no fear of it punishing your taste buds.

Sources: @Press, Japaaan
Images: @Press

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