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NicoNico News / Pepsi

Cherry Blossom-Flavored Pepsi Is Coming to Japan

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NicoNico News / Pepsi

It’s no secret that Japan is home to adventurous culinary and snack experiences that often aren't available in the United States. Coming soon to store shelves that already stock unusual Kit Kat flavors and eyebrow-raising variations of Doritos: Sakura Pepsi, which reportedly tastes like the blossoms of a cherry tree.

The seasonal Pepsi—set for a March 8 release, according to Japanese-based website NicoNico News—is pink and has a “sweet cherry aroma.” However, there is no description of what the Pepsi flavor will taste like. (Hopefully, it will get a better reception than one of Pepsi’s more notorious Japanese flavors, Ice Cucumber.)

So what exactly do cherry blossoms taste like? It's a familiar flavor to some Japanese residents. Edible sakura leaves are already a delicacy in the country. Preserved leaves are also commonly used as wrappers for a treat called Sakura-mochi, a rice cake filled with a sweet paste made from azuki beans. The leaves themselves are described as having a “fragrant, salty-sour taste” that offsets the bland mochi and sweet azuki beans.

It's a taste that also comes through when the cherry blossom flowers are used to make a pink-colored tea. The tea is traditionally served at weddings and other special occasions. The verdict is still out on whether applying that history and distinct taste to Pepsi will lead to delicious results.

[h/t Kotaku]

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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50 Sweet Facts About Your Favorite Halloween Candies
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It’s no surprise that candy delights kids and adults alike. We love sweets so much that the average American eats about 22 pounds of candy each year. Whether you’re looking to impress your friends or simply brush up on your candy trivia, check out these 50 sweet facts about your favorite candies.

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