Famous Kyushu specialty meets classic video game in this gastronomic dream team.

Take a trip to Nagasaki Prefecture on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu and one of the regional specialties that you’re likely to encounter is kakuni, or braised cubes of pork belly. While we’ve covered which Japanese convenience store offers the best kakuni in the past, next time we’d love to gobble up local eatery Iwasaki Honpo’s famous Nagasaki kakuni manju confection for a leveled-up spin on the classic dish.

▼ The Nagasaki kakuni manju. Can’t you practically smell that simmered goodness through the screen?

Speaking of leveling up, Iwasaki Honpo recently partnered with none other than Bandai Namco Entertainment to offer a special take on their premier manju–the kakuni Pac-Man manju, which went on sale beginning on January 7. Its yellow dough is curry-flavored and features Pac-Man’s eyes lightly branded into the top of the confection, creating the illusion of our favorite perpetually-hungry video game mascot character.

▼ This may be hard to believe, kakuni Pac-Man manju, but we’re the ones with the most voracious appetites at the moment.

Amusingly, the collaboration apparently came about because residents of Nagasaki couldn’t stop commenting on how they could only see Pac-Man whenever they looked at Iwasaki Honpo’s Nagasaki kakuni manju!

▼ Once again, here’s a typical Nagasaki kakuni manju that we’d like in our stomachs right this instant, thank you very much.

▼ A depiction of Pac-Man’s most recognizable retro form

Therefore, the only logical solution was to put them together…and what do you get?

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-BEAUtiful braised pork in a curry bun.

To celebrate the release, packages of the kakuni Pac-Man manju also come with a limited-time 55 x 55-centimeter (21.7 x 21.7-inch) lunch cloth. At first glance its design looks like the standard arcade game’s layout, but a closer look reveals that the maze spells out “I-W-A-S-A-K-I” and kakuni manju replace the typical power pellets.

▼ If I were one of the ghosts I would give up on chasing Pac-Man altogether and head straight to the kakuni manju instead.

Each package for purchase comes with two regularly prepared Nagasaki kakuni manju, one kakuni Pac-Man manju, and the themed lunch cloth. You can purchase the set on Iwasaki Honpo’s online shop and at local shops in Nagasaki and Fukuoka for 2,200 yen (US$19), or at other online distributers such as Rakuten, Yahoo! Japan, or Amazon Japan for an additional 1,000 yen.

The past couple of years sure have seen Pac-Man enjoying a wave of product collaborations in light of the video game icon’s 40th anniversary. We’ll be sure to pay Pac-Man our appropriate respects by eating as many manju as our stomachs will allow.

Source, images: PR Times
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