Our reporter is bitter no one but her ever bought her a better butter, like Uni Butter.

In the popular food retail chain Kaldi, there exists a product so delectable that it sells out almost as soon as it hits the shelves. It’s called Uni Butter, but the first part of the name isn’t “uni” in the sense of one butter to unite us all. Rather it’s the Japanese word “uni” – pronounced “ooh-nee” – which refers to those spikey aquatic creatures known as sea urchins in English.

▼ More often than not shoppers are greeted with a sign like this red one saying that Uni Butter is currently sold out and more stock is on the way.

Only a chosen few can be at a Kaldi when its stock of Uni Butter arrives, and recently one of those lucky people was our writer Mai Tsubomi. Restraining her excitement, she carefully took the pack to the check-out counter, avoiding the stares of competing shoppers, and then rushed home like Charlie after finding the golden ticket.

Uni Butter is very simple in concept, Kaldi just took ground-up sea urchin and blended it in with a rich-tasting butter. After opening her tub, Mai found the orange concoction to be very light and fluffy, more like whipped butter. She could easily scoop some up with a spoon.

The spoonful had a salty aroma of the ocean and Mai couldn’t help but take a quick lick of it. Sure enough, the flavor of sea urchin melted throughout her mouth, but keeping in mind this is essentially pure butter and all the calories that come with it, she decided to hold back from just wolfing the whole thing down straight.

Instead, she tried the recommended serving style of placing a dab of Uni Butter on a piping hot bowl of white rice.

It was a lot like putting a piece of sea urchin onto rice, only in this case the meat melts into a rich sauce that seeps throughout the grains. As a result, each chopstickful of rice was coated in a smooth and salty seafood taste.

According to Kaldi, also adding a touch of soy sauce really brings out the sea urchin flavor. Mai tried it and agrees but also feels that anyone would be perfectly happy with just the Uni Butter alone.

For her next trick, our writer decided to make a super simple seafood butter pasta dish by melting some Uni Butter on spaghetti and tossing on some seaweed for good measure. Interestingly the butter taste was firm in this dish, but the sea urchin notes were greatly diminished this way. Luckily the seaweed compensated for that and it was still a good meal overall.

The spread had a much more unified taste once again when topping a baguette. Mai thought she could eat this combination all day.

She felt that butter with a hint of sea urchin had endless applications from eggs to meats, and even as a dip for raw vegetables. Both delicious and versatile, it’s no wonder that Uni Butter is such a hot item at Kaldi which is already known for its excellent spreads.

Mai recommends everyone go out and try some right now for 567 yen (US$5) a pack. At least, she would if everyone had a chance of finding it.

Related: Kaldi
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