After stepping inside a Japanese convenience store, what’s the first place you should check out? Some might say the bread aisle, while others are drawn to the sweets section. But during the winter months, you absolutely need to make a point of checking the steamer case, where the piping hot steamed buns are kept.
In addition to perennial favorites like pork buns and curry buns, most convenience stores have a rotating lineup of special limited-time varieties. The one coming to convenience store chain FamilyMart this month, though, is extra special: the Hotcake Bun.
Produced in collaboration with Morinaga, Japan’s favorite pancake mix maker, the Hotcake Bun (or Hotcake-man, if you’re asking for it in Japanese and/or share our sentiment that it sounds delicious enough to qualify as a superhero among snack foods) is a bun-shaped pancake with a sweet syrup filling at its core. Having been absent from FamilyMart since a year ago, the Hotcake-man isn’t just coming back, it’s coming back better than ever, with the use of Hokkaido butter and more egg yolk than last year’s version promising an extra rich and fluffy eating experience.
The press release photos wisely predict that we’re not going to be able to limit ourselves to buying just one Hotcake Bun, and so FamilyMart has some suggestions in case you somehow want something even more decadent than a pancake you can hold in your hand. For example, you can use the Hotcake Bun as a base to indulge in the sort of fancy fruit-topped pancake desserts that Japanese cafe-goers are so immensely fond of.
Or, if you’re craving something savory, FamilyMart also recommends slicing or tearing your Hotcake-man in half and using the pieces as the buns for a fried chicken pancake sandwich.
Conveniently, FamilyMart’s Famichiki fried chicken is offered for sale right next to the steamer case, and it’s delicious.
Family Mart’s Hotcake-man arrives on January 24. It’s usually priced at 160 yen, but until January 28 it’ll be on sale 140 yen, which makes us very happy. Sure, 20 yen isn’t a huge discount by itself, but considering how many of these we plan to eat, we stand to save a lot of money during those first five days, money that we can put towards some whiskey to pair with our Hotcake-man Famichiki sandwiches.
Images: PR Times
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