Glitzy red and gold decor, plus boar and snowman shapes. These donuts will start your year off sweet!

Since they came to Japan in 2006, Krispy Kreme has been tantalizing us with all manner of limited edition flavors, many of which have a specifically Japanese flair to them. With stores opening all over the country, more and more of the Japanese public are getting a taste of one of America’s most emblematic donuts.

This January brings us another of those gorgeous limited-edition donut sets, and this one will only last as long as January does, making it especially urgent for our Japanese reporter Momo Momomura to leap out and purchase a box to try.

▼ The 2019 Lucky Eto Dozen in all its glory

The “Eto” (干支) in the title means “Chinese Zodiac”, and if you’re having a party or celebration, the Eto Dozen is your best option. At 1,800 yen (US$16.67) it contains two of each seasonal donut, plus four Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts and two Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles donuts.

And seeing as 2019 is the Year of the Boar there’s a certain porky pal that’s right at the heart of this yummy arrangement.

Happy Boar Caramel donuts retail at 230 yen (US$2.13) individually

Wild boars are actually native to Momo’s home prefecture of Nagano, so she’s used to treating them with a healthy amount of fear. (If you ever see a boar in real life, it’s best to make for high ground as soon as possible so they can’t chase you.) This little fellow on the other hand fits his cute name perfectly: look at that smile!

The donut itself is smothered in a luxurious caramel chocolate coating, including his pointy ears which are fashioned out of cracker pieces. A pretzel forms his distinctive nose, and his facial details are drawn on in chocolate. Truly, too cute to eat… almost. Seduced by the yummy scent of caramel, Momo grabbed her knife and got to chopping.

▼ Isn’t it bad luck to use a knife on a New Year’s boar?

▼ Decadent caramel sauce oozes out from inside.

Trying not to feel too sad looking at his poor fractured little piggy face, Momo took a bite.

It was delicious! The smooth, high quality caramel complemented the fluffy donut base just perfectly. Lightly accented with rock salt, the sweetness was balanced in a way that will have all connoisseurs of caramel craving it.

Next up are donuts that honor the traditional red, white and gold color scheme of Japanese New Year. The first donut of these is a common sight to anyone who buys limited Krispy Kreme boxes at this time of year:

▼ Our old friend, the Snowman Chocolate donut costs 220 yen (US$2.04).

Stuffed with fresh chocolate cream and iced in white chocolate frosting, the Snowman Chocolate donut bears a super-cute chocolate face and a strawberry puree scarf.

The final limited donut in the line-up is a glamorous sight indeed, drenched in glittering red with dashes of gold glitter.

▼ The Lucky Strawberry Ring can be bought on its own for 220 yen, too.

This fluffy donut is glazed in a sweet, tart strawberry coating, studded with freeze-dried strawberry pieces and dusted in edible gold. What better way to represent New Year’s celebrations? You might also recognize it from last year’s lucky bag offerings.

All of these donuts are just available for the month of January, so snap them up while you can! Here’s hoping they lure enough people away from the temptation of donut rival Mister Donut’s cute Pokémon lucky bags!

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