Stock up on these cute, colorful cartons and ensure that you’ll always have a tasty iced snack to hand!

Summer is reaching out its sweaty, sticky hands and enclosing Japan in its damp grasp. Now is the time for hand fans, lighter clothing, and lots of cool, refreshing drinks. And ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.

Speaking of which, May 9 was actually Ice Cream Day. In the spirit, we decided to try some unconventional ice cream—namely, ice cream that eschews the traditional “cream” part altogether. With plant-based products growing in popularity, people have increasingly been turning to treats made with soy or almond milk. Kikkoman’s Tonyu Inryo brand of soy milk drink has been a favorite for this, with people even recommending to freeze the cartons for a soy-style summer snack.

Kikkoman themselves joined in on the fun by listing an official way to enjoy Kikkoman soy milk ice cream on their website. So we bought a bunch of small, rectangular cartons that looked like they’d make refreshing ice cream flavors, and prepared to follow those recipes to the letter!

▼ We chose Annin Tofu Almond Jelly, Macadamia Nut Milk, and, most fittingly, Vanilla Ice Cream flavored soy milk.

All right. So, Kikkoman, what do we do now?

1. Raise both sets of flaps on the carton so that the milk inside will freeze to a pleasing shape.
2. Freeze it.

…Is that it?

▼ Well, if you say so.

We froze our soy milk cartons for about eight hours. After removing them from the freezer, we neatly snipped away the flaps from the top and sliced the package open. It opened easily, and we could see the milk inside had frozen into a delicious block.

Once the outside of the milk block melted enough, we could just squeeze it free and eat it inside the packaging like a freeze pop.

But since we really wanted to savor our soy milk sweet to the utmost, we emptied it onto a plate so that we could admire its cuboid majesty.

▼ Look at it glisten!

Since the milk freezes solid, it’s best to eat it by gently shaving off chunks at the end with your spoon until you end up with fluffy grated pieces similar to shaved ice. Its texture is pleasant and mild, so it’s a pleasure to eat.

How did our three flavors stack up? Well, we have to give a special round of applause to the Annin Tofu Almond Jelly flavored soy milk. We thought it was the most refreshing of the three flavors and actually tasted similar to the almond-jelly-topped shaved ice desserts served in Taiwan.

▼ There is something of a contrast between the almond jelly and soy milk flavors, though.

As for the Macadamia Nut Milk flavor, it had a much more subdued sweetness in contrast to the other two flavors. It had a unique flavor that emphasized saltiness over sweetness, and it’s definitely worth trying for yourself. The aroma and flavor of both the nuts and the soy milk are even stronger here than in the unfrozen product. We can definitely imagine getting addicted to this one!

Lastly, we have the very appropriate Vanilla Ice Cream flavor. This one had the richest flavor of the three—rich enough that you’d be forgiven for forgetting that you’re consuming soy milk rather than dairy. Refreshing and light but deeply satisfying, this is one summer snack that you won’t forget or regret.

Our experiment proved that to get the most satisfaction out of your Kikkoman Tonyu Iryo carton, you should probably freeze it. However, do keep in mind that the resulting product is a lot more like a sorbet or shaved ice than creamy ice cream. It does come with a comparatively lower calorie count, though, and soy milk keeps for a very long time. If you buy a bunch and stash them in your freezer for a hot day, you’ll be set to tackle any cold snack cravings that rear their head!

And we have great news if none of these flavors seem appealing: Kikkoman is constantly updating the Tonyu Inryo flavor roster, so you’re bound to find a flavor or five that tickles your fancy. Happy eating!

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