Taste the progression of the sakura, from early buds to past full bloom.

Every time sakura season appears on the horizon in Japan, we look to doughnut chain Mister Donut to see what’s blooming in store.

This year, the chain’s annual Sakura Mochi Donut series will be appearing again, but this time there’s an exciting new twist, as the four doughnuts on offer each symbolise a stage of the cherry blossoms as they bloom.

▼ First up, we have the “Tsubomi” (151 yen [$1.12]), which means “Bud” in Japanese.

This doughnut is gently dusted in a sugary kinako (roasted soybean powder) coating. In amongst the aromatic sweetness of the soybean powder is the faint flavour of sakura that’s reminiscent of the upcoming flowers that are soon to bloom.

▼ Next up is the 50 Percent Bloom (172 yen)

As the next stage in the blooming process, this treat is designed to resemble the blossoms halfway on the way to full bloom, with sakura-flavoured whipped cream and pink strawberry chocolate tinging one half of the sakura-flavoured doughnut.

▼ The next stage in the blooming process is “mankai” or “full bloom” (172 yen)

As you might expect, this sakura doughnut is totally covered in pink chocolate shavings, to conjure up images of the trees in full bloom.

▼ The final doughnut in the series is the Hazakura (172 yen)

“Hazakura” is the word used to describe a cherry blossom tree in leaf, after the blossoms have fallen. The sprouting new leaves are embodied in the bean paste topping, which contains cherry blossom leaves, making every bite feel like a step closer to sakura season and the summer that comes soon after.

While each doughnut can be purchased individually, those who’d like to taste every step of the blooming process can purchase the Cherry Blossom Enjoyment Set for takeout, which contains all four doughnuts for 667 yen.

The doughnuts will be on the menu from 22 February until late March at Mister Donut stores around the country.

Source, images: PR Times
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