Does the corniest ice cream on the market really capture the taste of the region?

Who says ice cream should only be eaten in summer? It’s a question our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has been asking for years now, every time he chomps into a frozen dessert when the temperature dips.

Here in Japan, a lot of people love to eat ice cream in winter, especially while sitting beneath the cosy warmth of a heated kotatsu table. It’s a practice that’s even loved by people up on the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, which is known for its record snowfalls, and for many, the pick of the freezer section is something called “Hokkaido Corn Ice Monaka“.

Monaka ice creams, which put the ice cream inside a monaka wafer casing, are popular throughout Japan, where Morinaga’s Choco Monaka Jumbo that resigns supreme. However, when in Hokkaido, you should keep an eye out for the Corn Ice Monaka, and if you’re lucky like Masanuki, you’ll be able to try the very unusual Hokkaido-only ice cream.

▼ Manufactured by Sakura Foods, located in Hokkaido’s Otaru City.

Taking the ice cream out of the package brought a huge grin to Masanuki’s face as he felt the same joy as a kid in a candy store seeing an unusual treat for the first time. His eyes grew wide as he inspected the outside of the ice cream, which had recreated the look of a corn cob in fantastic detail, with every grain realistically replicated.

Slicing it neatly in two, Masanuki found the ice cream inside was bright yellow! The icy filling was delightfully smooth, and didn’t seem to contain any chunks of corn, thankfully, but what Masanuki wanted to know was…would it taste like corn?

There was only one way to find out, so Masanuki took a big bite, crunching down through the wafer and into the creamy centre. As the flavour washed over his tongue, Masanuki closed his eyes and tilted his head back as he drifted away to monaka ice cream heaven.

It was more than good — it was a complete taste sensation. It smelt and tasted like corn, and as soon as the ice cream touched the tongue, it melted with a refined smoothness that made it totally irresistible.

Hokkaido is famous for corn, and this ice cream captures its sweet flavour so perfectly that every bite will make you feel as if you’re running through a corn field.

The unusual ice cream uses paste and powder from Hokkaido’s Honey Van Damme variety of corn, which is known for its sweetness, making it a perfect addition to the creamy frozen treat.

Masanuki’s only regret is that he didn’t buy two, and at 182 yen (US$1.22) each, he could’ve even bought a dozen or so to keep him going all winter long. Now he’ll just have to stock up on the new castella cake ice cream instead, until his next trip up to Hokkaido.

Reference: Sakura Foods Co.
Photos © SoraNews24

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]