Family Mart, Lawson and 7-Eleven dig up some surprises for customers this fall.

Autumn is one of the best times for foodies in Japan, when the annual harvest allows us to enjoy some of the country’s most beloved seasonal dishes…and desserts.

Japanese convenience stores are a good place to start when foraging for fall flavours, and this year, the top three chains — Lawson, Family Mart, and 7-Eleven — have some fantastic sweets on offer. It comes as no surprise that some of their best sellers feature the flavour of sweet potatoes, and in our opinion, you won’t want to miss out on trying three in particular while they’re available.

So let’s get to it and take a look at our pick of the best convenience store sweets this autumn, along with a star rating that shows just how sweet potatoey each one is.

▼ Lawson’s “Uchi Café x Oimoyasan Koshin Daigaku Imo-style Roll” (257 yen [US$1.75])

Sweet potato rating: ★★★★

This sweet is a tie up between Lawson’s “Uchi Café” sweets brand and Asakusa’s esteemed sweet potato confectionery specialty store Oimoyasan Koshin. They’ve combined forces to create a roll cake made from a dough that contains purple sweet potato paste, with a dollop of sweet potato cream in the middle, made from whipped cream and a paste made from the beniharuka variety of sweet potato.

Daigaku imo, which translates to “college sweet potato“, is a black-sesame-seed-dusted snack so popular it’s been featured as the star ingredient in a Starbucks Frappuccino in Japan. This new Lawson sweet does a fantastic job of replicating the sweet-and-savoury flavours of a daigaku imo, but in the centre of the cake there’s a very special secret ingredient waiting to wow your taste buds — a rich, sweet “mitsu” (“honey”) sauce that replicates the sugary goodness known as “mitsu” that oozes out of the potato while it’s being roasted. 

▼ Mouthwateringly delicious!

▼ Next up, we have Family Mart’s “Beni Haruka Sweet Potato Crepe” (320 yen)

Sweet potato rating: ★★★★★

Wrapped up inside this springy crepe is a delicious centre that contains layers of condensed milk-infused whipped cream, sweet potato cream, and roasted sweet potatoes. At first glance, it might look hard to hold, but it’s sturdy enough to grasp without spilling its creamy contents.

This treat really delivers on the taste of sweet potatoes — the flavour is so distinctive it’s like eating a sweet potato and a crepe at the same time.

However, the beauty of this sweet is that the more you eat it, the more rounded in flavour it becomes, thanks to the layers that help to transition your taste buds through a variety of complementary flavours.

▼ Lastly, we have Seven-Eleven’s “7 Premium Melty Sweet Potato” (170 yen)

Sweet potato rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

As you can see, this product is off the charts when it comes to sweet potato flavour, mainly due to the fact that it’s essentially a sweet potato condensed into a tub.

If you love sweet potatoes, this dessert will make your toes curl in delight, as it captures both the sweet and umami notes of a top-quality beni haruka, with a wonderfully soft and “melty” texture. The flavour of sweet potato increases with every bite, yet manages to end with a light and refreshing aftertaste that will have you dipping your spoon in again and again.

▼ The taste is really amazing — like a creamy sweet potato bean paste.

If you’re looking to taste the sweet flavours of a Japanese autumn, these three desserts will definitely fit the bill. And given their low prices and petite portion sizes, you’ll probably have room in your wallet, and your belly, for a Castella cake ice cream as well!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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