”Pearl chocolate” looks like something else, many are saying.

This week, Starbucks Japan released its newest dessert, the Blueberry and Cocoa Cream Pie. The chain describes it as blueberry cream and strawberry powder-coated chocolates wrapped in cocoa-infused pie crust, with a mixture of crisp and creamy textures plus sweet and tart flavors.

That all sounds good, but Starbucks sweets in Japan are loved not just for how they taste, but how they look. Ordinarily, it’s safe to expect a Starbucks Japan dessert will look mouthwatering and social media-sharing worthy, and while it’s true that the Blueberry and Cocoa Cream Pie is definitely eye-catching, it’s also making more than a few people want to shut their eyes in terror.

The major problem, in/for many people’s eyes, is the spherical shape of the chocolates. Starbucks calls them “pearl chocolates,” but instead of precious stones, it’s making a lot of people think of eggs or larvae. That, in turn, makes the cream and crust look like a ruptured egg sac filled with some sort of liquified protein. It’s especially unsettling for those who are familiar with the pomacea canaliculate, or golden apple snail, which makes its home near bodies of water such as rice paddies and produces egg clusters that look like this.

Reactions to the Blueberry and Cocoa Cream Pie on Twitter have included:

“Can’t eat it. Those pink things are too gross.”
“If you grew up in the countryside, as soon as you see that pie you’re going to be thinking of snail eggs.”
“With all due respect to the people who came up with this, all I can see are snail egg clusters.”
“Was tempted to ask for ‘One snail egg cluster, please,’ when I ordered it.”
“If you have trypophobia (a fear of irregular cluster of bumps or holes), don’t even think about looking at this.”

We should point out, though, that no one seems to have any complaints about how the Blueberry and Cocoa Cream Pie tastes, indicating that those with the courage to order and eat it have found it to be up to the high flavor standards of Starbucks Japan’s desserts. It’s not like Japan is completely averse to gross-looking desserts, either, so if you’re feeling both hungry and brave, the 300-yen (US$2.25) Blueberry and Cocoa Cream Pie will be on sale for a limited time.

Source: Starbucks via IT Media, Twitter
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Starbucks
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