It’s time for a maritozzo rennaissance.

A few years back, Japan was hit by a maritozzo boom, with the sweet cream-filled buns from Rome popping up at all sorts of bakeries, confectionery stores and even one sushi joint. Sadly, however, the sweet buns didn’t have the lasting power to stick around for long, because now you’d be hard-pressed to find them. That recently became a problem for our reporter Daiki Nishimoto, when he felt a sudden craving for a maritozzo…but didn’t know where to get one.

Hopping online, it was surprisingly difficult to find anything there as well, leading him to think that the maritozzo trend must really be well and truly over in Japan. However, the scarcity of the sweet now made Daiki want one even more, so he persevered with his search until he finally came across Pallet (“パレット”), a long-established “fruit dining” store in Tochigi, which sold its maritozzi through the Odakyu Department Store online shop.

▼ Pallet goes by the full name “Pallet 8010”

Daiki put an order in for their “Strawberry Palletozzo”, which came frozen in a box of four for 3,240 yen (US$21.71). At over five bucks each, these were some expensive sweets, but they looked to be worth it, especially as Pallet has a long history behind it, having started as a greengrocer over 120 years ago, back in 1898.

When his package arrived, the morsels looked so good he hopped online to see if he could purchase any more. However, no matter how hard he looked, he could no longer find them online. The product appeared to have disappeared from the lineup, and though this might be a temporary thing, as of this writing, the sweets were still unavailable.

Daiki knew the maritozzi were hard to find but he never expected them to be so ephemeral — it seemed like they were now an endangered species of sweet. This made them even more precious, and they were some of the best-looking maritozzi he’d ever seen.

It’d been a long, long time since he’d seen the familiar face of a maritozzo, so he took a moment to admire its beauty. As he gazed upon it, he was hit by a wonderfully warm yet slightly sad feeling, like opening an old yearbook and flicking through its pages.

If this maritozzo were a student, it would’ve been the most popular at school. It was plump and gorgeous, oozing with white cream and red strawberries that gave it a happy appearance.

The cross section revealed the light and airy texture of the bun..and the generous serving of cream inside.

It was delightfully soft to touch, with a gentle spring under the fingers that alluded to its fluffy texture.

Biting into the sweet, Daiki felt a surge of happiness as the fruity, creamy flavours spread throughout his mouth. Even though it had arrived frozen, the dough was surprisingly fluffy and soft, and the fresh cream was sweet and smooth, melting on the tongue. The strawberries had a crunchy, sherbet-like texture, with an exquisite tartness that was absolutely delicious.

▼ It was so good he soon found himself reaching for another one.

The high-quality flavours and excellent textures were a testament to the skill of this famous purveyor, and though it was rich, it was so light and refreshing you could easily eat more than one in a single sitting.

That’s exactly what Daiki did, eating his way through two of them, all the while savouring every mouthful of this hard-to-find flavour.

▼ One last look at an endangered sweet that’s on the brink of disappearing.

The maritozzi tasted even better than he’d remembered, giving him hope that they might one day enjoy a renaissance in Japan. As it stands, though, the maritozzo boom has all but fizzled out in Japan, which, on the bright side, means there’s a gaping hole in the market for something new to replace it.

Daiki hopes a successor is out there making its way to these shores soon, because now he’s become reacquainted with the Italian sweet, he’s keener than ever to continue exploring new horizons.

Related: Odakyu Department Store Online Shop, Pallet
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 ]