More adventures in the realm of Japanese steamed buns…

Title: Hetalia World Series Omotenashi (Service) Steamed Buns (ヘタリア World Series おもてなしまんじゅう)
Price: 840 Yen (w/tax)
Available: 24 March 2011 (expiry: 10 June 2011)
Description: Steamed buns with colour of Spring time sakura blossoms! There are also 3 types of stickers to collect. Each box contains 9 steamed buns with sakura filling (まんじゅう(桜あん) and measures about 200x200mm. Sticker measures 100x80mm.

For knowledge sake, here’s more information about manjuu, which is a type of Japanese confectionery. Some information from wiki.

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits.

Wagashi is typically made from natural (mainly plant) ingredients. The names used for wagashi commonly fit a formula—a natural beauty and a word from ancient literature; they are thus often written with hyōgaiji (kanji that are not commonly used or known), and are glossed with furigana.

Generally, confections that were introduced from the West after the Meiji Restoration (1868) are not considered wagashi. Most sorts of Okinawan confectionery and those originating in Europe or China that use ingredients alien to traditional Japanese cuisine, e.g., kasutera, are only rarely referred to as wagashi.

And yes, they have expired by the time I ate them. See related post of DRRR!! crack!!-ers for the back story lol~

Pretty packaging! Very Japanese style prints with UK and Japan gracing the cover ^^ Well, people who like apron-moe will probably find this doubly attractive.

Back view. See the illustration of the Hetalia boys enjoying the view of the cherry blossoms. Oh yes, these snacks are also recommended for consumption during hanami (花見 sakura/cherry blossom viewing during Spring time in Japan)

More from wiki:

Hanami (花見, lit. “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, “flower” in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms or ume blossoms. From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. The blossom forecast (桜前線, sakurazensen, literally cherry blossom front) is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two. In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or at night. Hanami at night is called yozakura (夜桜, literally night sakura). In many places such as Ueno Park temporary paper lanterns are hung for the purpose of yozakura. On the island of Okinawa, decorative electric lanterns are hung in the trees for evening enjoyment, such as on the trees ascending Mt. Yae, near Motobu Town, or at Nakajin Castle.

A more ancient form of hanami also exists in Japan, which is enjoying the plum blossoms (梅 ume) instead. This kind of hanami is popular among older people, because they are more calm than the sakura parties, which usually involve younger people and can sometimes be very crowded and noisy.

Ingredients and yep… expiry date 10 June 2011. I ate mine one week after cos they arrived late OTL;

Cute faces decorating the side of the box. Love the design.

The opposing camp.

The other side panel design.

With my previous experience of opening Spray BL manjuus, I managed to get away with less damage to this part of the wrapper this time. However the centre of the wrapper was glued tight so it was more difficult to separate them.

Let’s pull the box out carefully…

Woo~ another naked white box.

Let’s take a peek inside… wow so PINK and CUTE!

Tray with the buns looks like a game of Tic-Tac-Toe with pink balls. And that’s the sticker I got.

I had no big expectations or wish-list like I did for the DRRR!! yukata boys so I’m happy with any.

Pink dots on the oxygen absorber.

Back and front view of the cute little pink buns.

Bottoms up! Reminds me of momo (pinkish peaches/also an euphemism for cute bums/BL asses XD)

Top view.

The pink is such a joy.

Split buns reveals the paste made with sakura (cherry blossoms) petals, sugar and other stuff.

Held up against the light. Incredibly pretty colour. Notice the specks of brownish green? Those are the cooked petals if I’m not wrong.

Taste verdict! Sweet! Sweet and sweet! It tastes good with unsweetened hot tea and green tea. I tried the bun as it is (room temperature), chilled and finally oven-warmed.

At room temperature, I thought I tasted bits of ginger in the paste but my guess is that those are the petal bits. The overall taste was so sweet. I think my blood sugar levels went up a notch after consuming one of these. However when chilled or oven-warmed, the taste seemed smoother. less sweet and much yummier. Or maybe it was because my taste buds got used to the sugar. The soft crust has the same texture as white Asian red bean steamed buns.

Pretty wrapper flattened for keeps. Gotta love those Japanese style print designs.

Anyway, I think I’ve had enough of manjuus for the time-being. Don’t think I’ll be buying more anytime soon ^^;; unless they’re of some series that I have zero resistance over, like say, Nitro+Chiral inspired manjuus or something. OTL;;

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