We try out the newest “drinkable food.”

For whatever reason, a lot of Japanese drink companies have made it their mission to turn food items into drinks. Not as in blending them until they are smooth liquid, thankfully, but by formulating drinks that are carefully crafted to taste like a specific food. Drinkable whipped cream, drinkable curry, drinkable rice balls, drinkable ice cream

It may seem like these companies are not worried about the “why” when they make these drinks, but honestly, we aren’t mad. In fact, we’re excited, because they just released a drinkable version of one of our favorite breakfast/dessert items: pancakes.

It’s called “A Happy Pancake the Drink: Drinkable Pancake”, and it’s sold exclusively at convenience store chain Lawson. Of course, we pretty much had to try it, but it was surprisingly hard to find. We had to shop around at multiple Lawsons in our area before we finally found one.

The image on the package was of the extra thick, extra fluffy, wobbly kind of souffle-like pancake that Japan has become famous for, so we expected more of that kind of flavor than your traditional thinner and firmer breakfast pancake. Honestly, just looking at it made us feel pretty happy.

This drink, which is priced at 198 yen (US$1.70), has flavor elements of fermented butter and manuka honey, but when we peeked inside, it looked just like a cup of Cafe au Lait. It was a nice, rich shade of light brown. We were expecting it to be lighter in color, like milk, so that was a bit surprising.

Before tasting, we gave it a little sniff and got a good whiff of the mild and sweet smell of fermented butter. It did smell a little like pancakes!

Without further delay, we took a sip through the thick straw provided.

Oh! It’s really rich and sweet, perhaps owing to the manuka honey. We like sweet drinks, so we thought it was pretty good! But when you think of pancakes, you think of maple syrup, right? Unfortunately, after a second sip, we realized that, though the drink smells like pancakes, the flavor was more like caramel than maple.

The drink was also really thick and viscous, and it had some tiny little grains inside, which piqued our curiosity. We took a look at the ingredients list to see if we could figure out what it was, and we found “processed konnyaku” on there!

Konnyaku is made from taro root that is dried and ground into a powder, which is usually turned into a gelatinous block or chewy noodles. In this case, it looks like it might have been used to add body and texture to this drink. You can see the little grains on the inside of the lid…maybe that’s the konnyaku?

In any case, it was a new mouthfeel we never expected, so it was kind of a shock…but we also kinda liked it. It was fun to drink!

Though this drink misses the mark slightly on replicating the flavor of pancakes, it really did a great job on creating the fragrance of pancakes, and the texture was something new, so we doff our hats to this drink for its effort!

It’s also recommended that you add fresh coffee to A Happy Pancake The Drink and top it with whipped cream for a really tasty coffee dessert drink. That sounds kind of amazing, and definitely worth a try for the next one we pick up.

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