Our reporter Kouhey was shopping for sandwiches in 7-Eleven recently when he saw something that stopped him in his tracks.
There, on the shelf in amongst other familiar sandwiches, was one that was noticeably whiter than all the others, and branded with the name: “Whip Dake Sand."
In English, that translates to “Whipped Cream Only Sandwich," although the English they chose to go with on the packaging was rendered as “Whipped Cream & Milk."
Either way, this was a sandwich Kouhey had never tried before, so he immediately plucked one off the shelf and added it to his basket.
As he waited in line at the cash register, Kouhey took a quick look online to find out if whipped cream sandwiches were actually a thing. Of course, he’d eaten his fair share of fruit sandwiches before, which contain a cream and fruit filling, but a sandwich with only cream? That was something he’d never seen before. As he searched online, he found it was a relatively new product — this sandwich was a regional thing, previously only available in the Kinki region in and around Osaka, and now available for a limited time in Chiba, Kouhey’s home prefecture, right next door to Tokyo.
▼ Each sandwich costs 313 yen.
Searching further, Kouhey was pleased to find that the sandwich is currently available to purchase at 7-Eleven convenience stores in Saitama, Niigata, Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, and the Tohoku and Kinki regions.
However, not all these sandwiches are created equal, as each one is made with locally sourced milk from the region where it’s sold. In the case of Kouhey’s sandwich, it contained “Chikaba Milk” produced in Chiba’s Yachiyo City.
This was a great way to help local dairy industries, and Kouhey felt a sense of happiness that his purchase would go towards helping a local business. Moreover, Chikaba Milk is usually only sold at co-op stores, so it’s not usually readily available.
▼ Looking closer, Kouhey found his sandwich contained 10 percent Chiba-sourced milk in its whipped cream filling.
As soon as he got home, Kouhey ripped open the packaging to admire the sandwiches.
Just as promised, these sandwiches were filled with whipped cream, and the serving was a lot more generous than he’d expected.
▼ Time to taste…
With his mouth filled with soft bread and cream, Kouhey’s taste buds swooned under the sweet and moist combination, which he could only describe as perfect.
The creamy sandwich whet Kouhey’s appetite and made him crave another sandwich, but this time, he had an idea.
▼ So he walked over to his local Lawson to make this idea a reality.
Heading over to the sandwich corner, he found a new product called Strawberry & Whipped Cream.
Taking the sandwich home, he found it was a lot thicker than the cream-only one he ate earlier.
That was due to the inclusion of strawberries, which promised to make for a very tasty sandwich. However, Kouhey wasn’t here to eat a strawberry and cream sandwich — he’d worked up an appetite for cream sandwiches, so he picked out the strawberries to make a cream sandwich of his own.
▼ The three strawberries taken out of the sandwich are circled below.
How would this handmade Lawson cream sandwich compare to the 7-Eleven ready-made one?
This was an incredibly delicious sandwich, and because it had previously contained strawberry pieces, the fruit had flavoured the cream, giving it a slight taste of berry. Plus, the whipped cream was made with fresh cream from Hokkaido, and it had a hint of rare cream cheese flavour, making for a more flavourful version than the 7-Eleven variety.
Still, it wasn’t a fair tasting, so Kouhey figured the only way to truly compare the two would be to add strawberries to the 7-Eleven cream-only sandwich and try them both with the fruit inside.
▼ 7-Eleven’s Whipped Cream & Milk (left) and Lawson’s Strawberry & Whipped Cream (right)
Which convenience store chain will win this sandwich challenge? First up, we have Lawson’s Strawberry & Whipped Cream.
Oh yes, this was a delicious sandwich, and it was much better with the fruit inside than without it, as the cream cheese flavour complemented the fruit beautifully.
▼ Next up, we have the 7-Eleven cream-only sandwich…with strawberries added from the Lawson sandwich.
Hmmm…although whipped cream was the main ingredient here, the addition of strawberries heightened the sweetness in the flavor profile. It was good, but Kouhey couldn’t help but feel that this sandwich was better without the fruit than with it.
So in the end, Kouhey realized he shouldn’t have messed with the sandwiches after all. Each one tasted better as it was designed to be sold, which just goes to show how much thought and effort Japanese convenience stores put into their new products, even when it’s just a humble sandwich that only contains two or three main ingredients.
They’re both great sandwiches, so keep an eye out for them next time you’re at a Lawson or 7-Eleven in Japan. And don’t forget to check out the onigiri rice ball section for more unusual finds while you’re there!
Photos © SoraNews24
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