At first glance, the newest offering from the Japanese company Morinaga Milk Industry looks like those split-cup containers of Greek yogurt and honey. But in this case, the big cup is filled with pancake-flavored pudding and the small cup has maple syrup.
Also well-known as the producer of a popular Japanese pancake mix, Morinaga’s launch of the pancake pudding on October 3 is intended to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary in the pancake mix business. The celebration gained attention earlier this spring with a larger-scale anniversary promotion: Morinaga produced a pancake bath, complete with maple and vanilla-scented water that was actually spiked with real maple syrup.
Known locally in Japan as “purin,” the eggy custard is more similar to a jiggly flan than a smooth American pudding, as it’s firm and cold. According to Sora News 24, a Japanese news outlet, Morinaga’s pancake purin flavor is officially called “Hotcake-Style.” Mainichi, another Japanese news outlet, reports that the pudding is expected to taste and smell like “wheat and butter.” Pancake pudding-eaters can cover the treat with a heavy pour of maple syrup-style sauce from the attached bend-and-pour cup.
Pudding isn’t the only treat Morinaga is making pancake-flavored for their anniversary promotion. Their pancake ice cream bar will hit grocery-store freezers November 6. According to Mainichi, the chocolate coating on the ice cream bar will be maple-flavored and butter-scented.
Japan's appreciation of breakfast food could have something to do with their practice of asakatsu, in which people wake up much earlier than they need to in order to enjoy a few hours of calm before the workday. Perhaps the creators of the pancake pudding and ice cream bars hope that even if you’re enjoying one of their snacks in the middle of the day, associating the foods with a stress-free breakfast food may make the rest of the day a lot more tolerable.