New cherry blossom dessert takes its inspiration from a traditional Japanese springtime sweet.

It’s that time of year again when the birds chirp a little louder, the sun rises a little earlier…and the sakura flowers start appearing at stores.

This year, McDonald’s has joined the springtime celebrations with a very special pie based on sakuramochi, a traditional Japanese sweet often eaten at this time of year.

▼ The Sakuramochi Pie will be joining the regular Apple Pie at McDonald’s for a limited time.

Unlike other types of sakura sweets, which sometimes go heavy on cherry fruit or aromatic florals, sakuramochi has a distinct flavour as it includes the following set components: a sweet, pink-coloured mochi (rice cake); a sweet adzuki red bean paste filling, and pickled cherry blossom leaf.

▼ Sakuramochi, as it looks in the Kanto region in and around Tokyo (left) and the Kansai region in and around Osaka (right)

Photo © SoraNews24

These components combine to create a salty, sweet, floral flavour that’s uniquely Japanese, and for many, it’s the taste of Japanese springtime wrapped up in one sweet morsel.

That’s the taste, and feeling, McDonald’s is attempting to create with the new Sakuramochi Pie, which is said to contain sweet red bean paste and a soft, sakura-flavoured mochi that includes pickled sakura leaves.

▼ The gelatinous-looking mochi filling looks similar to the mochi used in the Kansai version of the traditional sweet.

Encased around the filling is an eye-catching pink pastry, which adds a crunchy textural contrast to the smooth and chewy centre. McDonald’s says it’s been meticulous with the pie, using just the right ratio of bean paste to complement the mochi filling and bring out “the full-fledged and natural taste of sakuramochi”.

▼ They’ve also given careful thought to the packaging, which resembles the look of a leaf-wrapped sakuramochi.

To help get everyone in the mood for spring, McDonald’s is releasing a new commercial for the Sakuramochi Pie, starring popular actresses Sairi Ito (left) and Yoko Maki (right).

In the clip, the two actresses travel through a sublime sakura setting, on the back of a rickshaw pulled by Mogura Suzuki, from comedy duo Kuuki Kaidan.

The gorgeous pink setting is one we all dream of finding every spring, and judging by the commercial, the only thing better than a rickshaw ride beneath the cherry blossom trees is one where you get to gaze at the blooms while munching on a sakura pie.

▼ Even better when you’re hit with a flurry of petals.

The Sakuramochi Pie retails for 150 yen (US$1.26) and will be on the menu at McDonald’s branches around Japan from 23 March until mid-April.

Source: McDonald’s Japan
Featured image: YouTube/マクドナルド公式 (McDonald’s)
Insert images: YouTube/マクドナルド公式 (McDonald’s), McDonald’s Japan

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