Two very different takes on springtime in Japan.

When the new Sakuramochi Pie went on sale at McDonald’s in Japan on 23 March, we knew they’d be popular. However, we didn’t realise just how popular they would be until we got in line to order one, only to be told they’d sold out.

So it took us a few days to get our hands on one of the pink pies, and in the meantime, we found out about another pink pie on the market, from rival chain KFC. That immediately had us wondering which one of these pies would be best, so we ended up getting both of them for a taste test, along with a standard McDonald’s Apple Pie to act as the benchmark.

▼ The Sakuramochi Pie (left), is priced at 150 yen (US$1.23), while the KFC pie (pink version of the chocolate one on the right), is priced at 230 yen.

If the McDonald’s pie hadn’t sold out when we visited, we never would’ve learned about KFC’s pink pie, as it’s flown under the radar without so much as a poster or commercial to alert us to its existence.

While the McDonald’s pie has been all the rage on social media platforms like Twitter, nobody’s been talking about the KFC pie, but is this due to a lack of marketing or a lack of flavour? Well, there was only one way to find out, so our reporter Egawa Tasuku got to work on to investigating the sweet specimens.

It seemed unfair to compare them on taste alone, as they contained very different ingredients — the McDonald’s pie comes with a sakuramochi and adzuki red bean filling, while the KFC pie comes with a strawberry chocolate centre.

▼ So he started by comparing the packaging.

The Sakuramochi Pie came in a box that was slightly bigger than the one used for the Apple Pie, as shown above, and it was definitely the cutest of the bunch as the pink-and-green exterior resembled the edible pickled sakura leaf wrapping seen on genuine sakuramochi.

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

Photo © SoraNews24

The KFC package on the other hand was a bit…well, if we’re being honest, it was a bit meh.

Having determined that the McDonald’s pie was the clear winner in terms of whetting appetites with its packaging, it was time to compare the look and texture of the pastry.

The McDonald’s pastry had a tough exterior and a bumpy, bubbly surface, and cutting it in half revealed it to be surprisingly thin.

The KFC pie, on the other hand, kind of looked like a sausage roll, with its smooth crust and triple-slit appearance.

However, cutting it in two revealed a much thicker pastry, and a flakier texture throughout.

Comparing the two cross-sections side-by-side showed one was flatter and the other much rounder.

Egawa wasn’t expecting the KFC pie to hold its own like this against its giant competitor. Not only did the KFC pie look more like a delectable flaky pie, when he bit into it, it had a lighter, airier texture too.

▼ The McDonald’s Apple Pie cross-section, for comparison.

In terms of texture, the KFC pie was the winner here, but if we had to compare the two on flavour, well…it’s hard to beat the taste of sakuramochi.

▼ Especially when it conjures up the taste of a magical sakura scene like this.

Whether you prefer the taste of sakura or strawberries for spring, both these pies have different strong points so they’ve definitely got what it takes to satisfy your sweet urges as the weather warms up.

They’ll only be around for a limited time, though, so be sure to stop by the arches and the Colonel if you’d like to give them a try, and you might want to sneak in a Teritama springtime burger while you’re there too.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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