An unlikely location for an acclaimed dessert makes us wonder if it really is as good as they say.

Apple pies aren’t something one would normally associate with Japan, but one shop in a trailer at the Ebina service area on the Tomei Expressway claims to make the best apple pie in the world.

▼ That was certainly a bold claim, so our reporter Seiji Nakazawa decided to stop by the service area to check it out.

The Ebina service area is said to boast the highest number of users out of all the service areas across Japan, so although this humble trailer was located a short distance away from the main building, it still received a lot of foot traffic.

Stepping inside, Seiji was greeted by a friendly clerk inside the cosy space, which felt warm and inviting, due to the natural wood panelling. It conjured up thoughts of hot apple pies being cooked in the oven of a log house, and the pies could be purchased on their own or in sets of four, eight or 12.

Seiji purchased one for 450 yen (US$3.11), and took it outside to try it while it was still piping hot.

▼ Could this really be the best apple pie in the world?

The pie crust was crispy, and the oozy apple filling was delightfully fragrant, covering the palate with sweet and fruity flavours. It had a classic goodness that was exemplary of a good apple pie.

The one thing that exceeded expectations was the cream that overflowed from the pie with every bite. Yes, this apple pie had cream in it, and it was extremely smooth and mellow, adding weight not only to the quantity but also to the sweetness. The hearty flavour and texture exceeded what one would expect from an apple pie, and this was largely due to the cream, which, according to the explanation posted inside the store, was made with soy milk cream cheese and special custard cream.

The flavours excited the palate in a way that a normal apple pie wouldn’t, leading Seiji to believe that the world’s best apple pie really might be different from the others after all.

However, as he chewed his way through each delicious mouthful, a simple question arose. On what basis does this apple pie claim to be “the best in the world”? After eating it, Seiji started to become more curious about its claim to fame, so he asked the staff about it.

Clerk: “I learned how to make apple pies from Marco Polo Molinari, a chef who used to run a shop in Kamakura who’s won various world championships. The apple pie was a direct lesson from Marco. That’s why I say it’s the best apple pie in the world.”

Seiji was suitably impressed by this response, but when he asked if Marco was still running a shop in Kamakura, the reply was:

Clerk: “No, he has returned to his hometown now.”

Marco Polo Molinari may have returned to his hometown in Italy now, but his legacy remains at this tiny little store on the highway. For Seiji, this really was an apple pie worth writing home about, and when he looked into it, he saw that the store also has branches in a number of places around Japan, including Asakusa and Karuizawa.

So if you see a little apple pie shop like this one in Japan during your travels, be sure to step inside to see what it’s all about. Chances are it’ll be the best apple pie in the world for you too, and miles better than the Aerosmith apple pie taiyaki we tried last year!

Store information

Mille Mele Ebina SA Outbound Store / Mille Mele 海老名 SA下り店
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Ebina-shi, Otaniminami 5-2-1
Open: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

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 ]