The question is, do we want a convenience store to sell luxury food at a reasonable price?

No one can doubt that the days of Japanese convenience stores offering only “cheap and serviceable” food are in the past. These days it seems like they just keep elevating their fresh and prepared food game to levels beyond our expectations. Now we think of convenience store food as not only cheap but also reliable and comforting.

7-Eleven’s brand of high-quality products, called Seven Premium, is one of the most competitive in that genre, and from that powerhouse come two foods that you simply wouldn’t believe unless you’ve seen them: pate and terrine. Convenience stores now sell items you’d normally only find at swanky bars or the fancy Starbucks Reserve buffet! What a time to be alive.

These products are hidden amongst the other side dishes in 7-Eleven, where you’d normally find such ordinary fare as curry and hamburg steaks. When we spotted them, we couldn’t help but do a double-take. Reaching for them felt like stretching our hands into another dimension.

We tried the Chicken and Pork Terrine first.

The mixture even contained pistachios, which have really taken off as a trendy food/flavor in Japan this year. They really went above and beyond to produce this, and yet it cost only 398 yen (US$2.88).

But of course, what matters is the flavor. After giving it a taste…

It was a really enjoyable eat! It didn’t have a strong aftertaste, but it still had a potent aroma of herbs, chicken, and pork. The texture was a bit like sausage, but it didn’t taste processed like ham. It was a proper terrine. We’d go so far as to say that even people who have never tried terrine before and are afraid they won’t like it might find it delicious. It was also much bigger than it looked in the packaging, which was a pleasant surprise.

Next, we tried the Pate de Campagne, which was the same price of 398 yen, made with domestically raised chicken liver.

Ordering pate, even at restaurants can be hit or miss. Since pate generally is made with the organs of an animal it can have a really strong smell. Places that serve high-quality food will offer a pate that doesn’t have a strong scent despite a full, rich flavor, but in other places, the pate can smell fishy and have a funny taste. If you’re not a fan of liver, it’s hard to take that risk.

So how would 7 Premiums Pate de Campagne be?

It had way more herbs and spices than the terrine, which did a good job of suppressing its pungent smell, but the aftertaste tasted strongly of liver. It had a much more gamey flavor than the terrine too.

As such, if you’re not a fan of liver, you probably won’t like this so much. But for liver and wild game meat fans, it’s pretty tasty! It had an exquisite balance of smoothness and authenticity. As expected of Seven Premium, whose potential continues to surprise us every day.

7-Eleven sells wine and mixed nuts too, and the Seven Premium brand also includes different kinds of cheese, so you could buy one of these and put together a reasonable wine and cheese night for you and your friends just by shopping at a convenience store. Call it a fancy senbero!

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