A fruity bouquet of flavour for your taste buds, with a special surprise hidden in the back of each one. 

In Japan, 28 June is also known as “Parfait Day”. While many of these unofficial “days”, which honour everything from maids to mayonnaise, are usually formed due to word puns that correlate to dates of the year, the origins of Parfait Day are a little different. On 28 June 1950, Hideo Fujimoto, a baseball pitcher for the Tokyo Giants, scored the first-ever perfect game in Japanese pro baseball, and with “perfect” sounding similar to “parfait”, hey presto — Parfait Day was born.

Now, seven decades after Fujimoto made sporting history that changed the dessert world, our Japanese-language reporter Yuuichiro Wasai found himself looking to celebrate the day with the perfect parfait. One of the places that came highly recommended was Initial in Tokyo’s swanky Omotesando district, so he headed on over, only to stop by this sign outside the store when he arrived.

Initial is known for its “Shime Parfait“, a custom popularised in Sapporo, Hokkaido, with “shime” meaning “last dish”. In Sapporo, it’s become a bit of a fad to finish off the day with a “last dish” of parfait at night, and Initial markets their “Shime Parfait” as being the perfect last dish after eating, after drinking, and after a date. While it wasn’t nighttime when he visited, there’s no rule against having a Shime Parfait in the middle of the day, so it was a bit of a surprise for Yuuichiro to find the store advertising fruit sandwiches instead.

Still, Japanese parfaits mostly contain fruit and cream, so these little morsels were kind of like parfait sandwiches. Even better, they were available for takeout, so Yuuichiro could take them home to enjoy away from the crowds, a pretty important point during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Nine varieties were available, featuring fruits like grapes, strawberries, peaches, bananas, mangoes, mikan citrus, and kiwi fruit.

Yuuichiro was incredibly impressed by the way the fruits were perfectly arranged to look like flowers between two slices of bread, so he ended up purchasing five to take home. He chose the Mixed Fruit (800 yen [US$7.46])…

▼ …The Whole Mikan (800 yen)…

▼ …The Kiwi Fruit Flower (800 yen)…

▼ …And the Miyazaki Mango (1,600 yen), a famous variety of mango known for its high quality and high price.

The one that drew his eye the most, however, was the Mikan Flower (780 yen), which sparkled with bright, juicy colours.

Savoury sandwiches often push their fillings to the front, skimping on ingredients with less fillings at the back end. Given the mesmerising beauty of the fruit on display, Yuuichiro couldn’t help but take a look inside to see if Initial was skimping on ingredients as well.

He lifted one slice of bread and was surprised to discover…

They’d added fruit at the very corner of the sandwich as well, to give customers one last punch of flavour in the final mouthful!

He inspected the other sandwiches as well, and found they all had bits of fruit behind the dazzling floral display piece.

This is what makes Initial’s fruit sandwiches one of the best in Tokyo right now. And that’s saying a lot, as we’ve tried the best of the best fruit sandwiches in the city.

If your mouth is watering right now and you’re unable to make it to Tokyo, don’t worry — this easy-to-follow video will show you how to make floral fruit sandwiches like these wherever you are in the world. Happy eating!

Store information
Initial Omotesando
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 6-12-7
Open: Monday-Friday 1:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. (last order 11:00 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m. (last order 11:00 p.m.)

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]