Three traditional fillings make this one of the most Japanese McDonald’s pies in the history of the chain.

We don’t have long to wait now until sakura season starts and people head outdoors to stroll and picnic beneath the blossoms, as part of a traditional pastime known as “hanami” or “flower-viewing“. While the focus will be firmly on pink drinks and foods to match the sakura, it’s also a traditional time of year that makes Japanese sweets a perfect accompaniment for flower-viewing, and that’s what McDonald’s is giving us this year, with the new limited-edition Matcha Kuromitsu Warabi Mochi Pie.

This new spring-like pie is a first for McDonald’s in two ways — not only is it the chain’s first-ever matcha flavoured pie, it’s also the first to contain a “three-layer flavour“. The three layers inside the crispy pie dough consist of soft warabi (bracken fern) mochi, smooth matcha bean paste, made by kneading Uji matcha with white bean paste, and kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) sauce.

According to McDonald’s, the initial concept for the pie was for it to contain a two-layer combination of matcha and warabi mochi, but in an effort to create an even more exciting product, they decided to add brown sugar syrup, which is what warabi mochi is traditionally served with.

The main challenge was how to encase the filling so that the three layers fit together in a well-balanced manner that was visually pleasing. Through repeated trial and error, the resulting pie is said to be an excellent combination of not only taste but texture, with the matcha paste providing a chewy contrast to the light and fluffy warabi mochi and thick and syrupy brown sugar sauce.

▼ Accompanying the new release is a commercial to promote the new product, starring Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki.

In the ad, Miyazaki sits with her “kohai” (“junior”), who asks her, “Matcha, suki desu ka?” (“Do you like matcha?”) to which she replies in the affirmative, saying, “suki, suki” (“like, like”). He goes on to ask if she likes kuromitsu and then warabimochi, to which she says “suki” and then “daisuki” (“love”), making it clear that she likes all of them (“zenbu”). In fact, she can’t get enough of it (“tamaranai desu”), and if the pie really does taste as good as it looks, we’ll soon be feeling that way when we try it too.

The new pie will retail from 200 yen (US$1.35), depending on whether you order it for takeout, eat-in or delivery. If you’re in Japan, though, there’s a chance you can get it for free, as McDonald’s is giving away 1,000-yen gift cards to 100 people chosen at random.

There are two chances to win, both of which require following the official McDonald’s Japan Twitter account. On 12 March, from 8:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m. (JST), followers who reply to the tweet containing the hashtag “#抹茶黒蜜わらびもちパイ明日発売” (“The Matcha Kuromitsu Mochi Pie goes on sale tomorrow”) with the same hashtag will be in with a chance to win.

Alternatively, on 13 March, from 7:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m., followers can enter another lottery, where 100 people who reply to the tweet containing the hashtag “#抹茶黒蜜わらびもちパイ好き” (“I like the Matcha Kuromitsu Warabi Mochi Pie”) with the same hashtag will win a 1,000-yen gift card.

As the campaign indicates, the new pie will be on the menu from 13 March, but it’ll only be around for a limited time until mid-April. So if you’d like to try Japan’s first-ever matcha pie, you’ll want to get in quick while it’s available, although we have our fingers crossed for it to return next year, like the McDonald’s Tsukimi Pie, which has become a mainstay during moon-viewing season.

Source, images: Press release
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!