Celebration sausage opens our mouth to a new way of eating. 

Just last year, convenience store chain Lawson Store 100 made headlines for its unprecedented Weiner Bento. Unlike most bentos, which contain a variety of ingredients, this new lunchbox stripped things down to just two main ingredients: rice and sausages.

▼ The bento became a runaway hit, spawning similarly unfettered offerings like the fried fish bento, seen below.

To commemorate the first anniversary of the Weiner Bento’s release, Lawson Store 100 is now giving customers another taste of the sausage, with an all-new onigiri rice ball called “Weiner On Chicken Rice“.

▼ Priced at just 108 yen (US$0.79)

Our weiner-loving reporter Mr Sato — who once ate a bento packed with 16 weiners — couldn’t resist the lure of the weiner onigiri, so he was thrilled to find them in stock at the store when he visited.

▼ People have already been raving about these online, so Mr Sato snatched up the last two for a taste test.

The unorthodox “filling” might be simpler than other rice balls, but it was clear that careful thought and attention had been given to its placement.

It was perfectly tucked into the centre of the ball, and from the side, the Weiner didn’t jut out even a millimetre from its bed of rice.

Mr Sato grabbed a pair of chopsticks to examine the Weiner more closely, and when he plucked it out of its resting place, it came loose with a satisfying pop. He was pleased to find that, just as the store had advertised, this was exactly the same type of Weiner used in the popular Weiner Bento from last year.

Mr Sato popped the sausage back into position and delved in for a bite. He immediately sensed the well-rounded balance between rice and Weiner in the first mouthful, giving him an even greater appreciation for its placement.

▼ Designed so that both ingredients combine perfectly with every bite.

This sense of unity in the rice ball gave it a high ranking on Mr Sato’s scale of degree of onigiri perfection, but then he remembered something…what about the chicken rice? 

▼ The sign did proudly say “Wiener on Chicken Rice“, after all.

Mr Sato prides himself on his acute sense of taste, and his taste buds were telling him this was no chicken rice.

So he took a look at the ingredient list on the back of the product and found…

▼ …it says “ketchup-flavoured rice“!!

As Mr Sato had suspected, this Weiner wasn’t tucked into a bed of chicken rice — it was cosying up to a mound of ketchup rice instead. At first glance, it might seem odd that the store would advertise it as chicken rice instead of ketchup rice, but these dishes do look similar so they’re sometimes used interchangeably.

From his experience working at a restaurant, Mr Sato knows both types of rice contain ketchup and are commonly used in omurice (“omelette rice”). However, “chicken rice” contains bits of chicken, and “ketchup rice” has no chicken, so although they look similar, the flavour is slightly different.

That was the only gripe Mr Sato had with these rice balls, though, because they were absolutely delicious. Unusual rice balls like these often sell out, and they’re only around until 12 July, so if you see them on the shelf, be sure to try them. And if you’re feeling creative, you can always try adding some whiskers and an omelette blanket to give them some kawaii flair!

Images © SoraNews24
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