Sakura are ready to bloom on your taste buds even before the start of spring.

The cherry blossom forecast for 2020 is predicting sakura season to start earlier than usual this year, as if Japan’s collective love for the iconic flowers is causing them to burst into being extra quickly. But if you really want to get a jump on the fun, you can get your sakura celebration going before January is even finished, thanks to Japanese confectioner Glico.

Glico has just announced that it’s adding two flavors to the lineup for its Pocky chocolate-coated pretzel stick series. While Pocky has found greater popularity internationally than just about any other Japanese candy, Glico is adding a reminder of the snack’s homeland with text on the packaging proudly proclaiming them as “Pocky from Japan” and “Taste of Japan,” declarations that are hard to argue with given that they employ two of the most Japanese flavors of all: sakura cherry blossom and matcha green tea!

First up is the Pocky from Japan Sakura Shitate, which covers buttery pretzel sticks with sakura chocolate. If you’ve never had sakura sweets before, the flavor is both sweet and salty, with just the faintest floral fragrance. These special sticks are also lightly dusted with salt and granular sugar, giving them a bit of grit reminiscent of salt-preserved sakura flowers and leaves.

Shifting gears to the Sakura Matcha Pocky, here the chocolate coating is enhanced with matcha green tea powder to create an enticing mix of sweet and bitter notes. This time the sakura content comes from the pretzel sticks themselves, which have sakura leaf extract kneaded into the dough before baking.

Both flavors go on sale January 21 and, like the cherry blossoms themselves, will be here for a limited time. Glico hasn’t set an end date for them, instead saying they’ll be offered “while supplies last,” so if you’re hoping to munch on these special Pocky while at a sakura party this spring, you might want to pick up a couple extra packs to hang on to.

Source: Glico via Japaaan, PR Times
Top image: Glico
Insert images: Glico, PR Times
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always happy to answer the question of “Sakura desserts or matcha desserts?” with “Both.”