Two Men, One Cake: Things get Awkward when a 65cm-long Baumkuchen Arrives in the Office

Before arriving in Japan, I had no idea that the country took sweets so seriously. For a country where many households get by without a conventional oven or stove (but as a result has come up with some pretty ingenious cooking solutions), there is a staggering amount of confection and baked goods available to buy, and people are perfectly happy to drop considerable sums of money of beautifully crafted western-style cakes and cookies.

Quite why it was skipped over by many other Asian countries yet so warmly received here, we’re not sure, but the German cake baumkuchen is a firm favourite in Japan. Its soft, multi-layered rings of sponge are both filling and moreish, and it goes well with practically any type of tea or coffee, meaning that the cake can be picked up everywhere from dedicated bakeries to convenience stores. So you can imagine our staff’s delight when Japanese confectioner Cozy Corner announced that it was launching a new 65cm (25.5 inches)-long baumkuchen to commemorate its 65 years in the business.

Still buzzing after receiving a free top-of-the-range notebook computer from Acer, our reporter Tashiro-kun ran out to pick up one of the mammoth desserts for the team to share. When he arrived back at the office with the cake, however, things got a little bit awkward…

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