You’ve probably heard about Japan’s expensive obsession with perfecting fruit. Throughout the year you can find various fruit farms across the country competing for that ultimate place as annual fruit champions.

Currently, it is the perfect season for growing strawberries, and with January the 15th being Strawberry Day (owed to the Japanese word ‘ichigo’ sounding like ichi and go – the numbers for one and five), you can find a range of stores and restaurants with dishes that showcase the varieties of our favourite heart-shaped fruit.

At Cafe Comme Ça, the 22nd of each month is known as ‘shortcake day’, and this January they will be releasing two special strawberry themed shortcakes to celebrate; White Strawberry and Custard Cream, and Red Strawberry and Chocolate Custard Cream.

White Strawberry and Custard Cream Shortcake

White strawberries are a rare gem in the world of fruits. In Japan they are known as the Hatsukoi no Kaori, which literally translates as ‘scent of first love’, and are cultivated by limiting the plant’s exposure to sunlight. The berry, though scarcely produced, is famous for being larger, juicier and sweeter than regular strawberries.

This special shortcake from Cafe Comme Ça combines pure white Hatsukoi no Kaori strawberries and rich custard cream. With low acidity and a gentle sweetness, the luxurious cake is sure to please anyone looking to curb that sweet craving.

Regular store price: 1,600 yen/ piece
Shibuya, Takasaki and Ginza store price: 1,800 yen/piece

Red Strawberry and Chocolate Custard Cream Shortcake

For chocolate lovers out there, this cake is made to make you drool.
Freshly cut sweet and sour red strawberry slices are interlaced with rich chocolate custard on the top of this soft spongy shortcake. Inside, more slices of strawberry make for a pleasant and juicy crunch.

Regular store price: 1,300 yen/ piece
Shibuya, Takasaki and Ginza store price: 1,500 yen/piece

Cafe Comme Ça works in collaboration with seasonal fruit farms from all over Japan to craft their artistic and flavourful cakes. Only fresh fruit is used, and by limiting the amount of sugar used in the cake sponge the cafe enhances the natural sweetness and flavour of the fruit. You can view more of the store’s impressive fruit cakes on their website.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.