Cream Puff Heaven, in Japan
Amazingly, it turns out that there are so many kinds of cream puffs — commonly called shukurimu (chou cream), from the French, chou a la creme — in terms of shape, flavor and types of crust. And they’re a sweet treat loved by all, regardless of age and sex.
‘People like chou creams so much that we could call them a national dessert,’ Ishizuka says. ‘So why not have a theme park where you can try and compare the different flavors of cream puffs from across the country?’
In a shop called Cream Puff Museum at the theme park, visitors can feast their eyes and taste buds on popular cream puffs from around 100 shops nationwide — and some not so regular ones, like natto cream puffs (that contain fermented soy beans in the cream) and takoyaki cream puffs (that are made to look like the deep-fried octopus dumplings, but fortunately do not taste like the real thing).
What really takes the biscuit for many visitors to Chou Cream Field, though, is the fairy-tale design of this ‘town’ of chou cream.
Covering 1,023-sq. meters of the floor space, the company has created an Italianesque alley, complete with chou cream trees and cream puff-shaped lanterns. As you stroll through this winding wonderland, the sweet and cheerful sound of ‘The Chou Cream Song’ fills the air — along with the aroma of baking cream puffs wafting from six specially selected shops from Hokkaido, Chiba, Tokyo, Hyogo, Fukuoka and Nagasaki prefectures.
To buy fresh-baked cream puffs from some of the nation’s most popular shops, take a seat at a table under a cream-puff tree festooned with the fancies, and soak up the sugary sounds in the Tokyo Chou Cream Field is about as near to cream-puff heaven as you’re ever likely to get.