Too Far? Japanese Starbucks Debut Insane Pumpkin Sandwich for Fall

09/09/2015 at 01:53 PM ET

Starbucks Japan
Starbucks Japan

Has the pumpkin craze gone too far?

Some will say “most certainly, yes” after seeing this new pumpkin monstrosity: A pumpkin-stuffed sandwich, now being served at Japanese Starbucks locations.

The sandwich, served on slices of barley bread, is stuffed with boiled kabocha (a Japanese pumpkin), lettuce, tomato, almonds and a thick spread of honey, soy milk and cream cheese, Brand Eating reports.

RELATED: We Tasted Starbucks’ New Pumpkin Spice Latte … And Here’s What We Think

The seasonal sandwiches cost 440 yen, which is around $3.67.

To be fair, there is a rich tradition of cooking with kabocha in Japan, and there doesn’t appear to be cinnamon or spices on the sandwich — so maybe the new menu item isn’t a ploy to profit off the pumpkin spice craze.

While the word is out as to whether these sandwiches will come to Starbucks locations in America, we wouldn’t be shocked — Starbucks has made a commitment to using actual pumpkin, which they just added to their new pumpkin spice latte. Are sandwiches, then, the natural next step?

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

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Showing 9 comments

John on

Being a vegetarian, I eat a lot of pumpkin. Pumpkin doesn’t have to be sweet–it’s a big squash after all. That sandwich looks interesting. I would give it a try.

guest22 on

The sandwich actually looks very good. I’d eat it. Too bad it’s only in Japan. I hate coffee though, so no pumpkin latte.

Elaine on

I think it looks good too. I would give it a try.

name on

Pumpkin is an vegetable native to America. They look like idiots trying to sell this in Japan.

Lou on

Not a fan of a anything pumpkin, except a facial scrub. 🙂

lflintoff on

I do love pumpkin. Roast pumpkin is my favourite. I’d never thought of putting it in a sandwich but what a great thing to do with leftovers. I’ll try that next time I roast a pumpkin.

This doesn’t seem strange to me at all. On the other hand, mixing pumpkin with spice and drinking it sounds the most bizarre thing ever. Thankfully that is not a thing that has ever made it to my country.

K.B. on

Why is this sandwich a “monstrosity”? I’ve read glowing stories on this site about the grossest deep-fried bacon-topped cheese-stuffed saturated fat bonanza burgers on fried chicken buns that made me sick to even think about OTHERS eating, and THIS is a “monstrosity”? Really? Pumpkin is delicious, and when prepared as a savory dish is not sweet like a dessert.

D on

name – FYI Kabocha is an Asian variety of winter squash, aka JAPANESE PUMPKIN. How, pray tell, would Starbucks “look like an idiot” for selling kabocha (a vegetable that is readily available in every Japanese market and restaurant) to its customers in Japan?

Anonymous on

That does sound tasty and not so weird at all to be honest. Kabocha is actually really good especially when its cooked (either boiled without the rinds or battered and deep fried for tempura). I don’t really see an issue promoting it as a sandwich for the Autumn though.

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