These may safe my life this summer...

Good morning everyone,

We're looking at a 60% chance of rain today but dropping down to 30% tonight and then clearing up for tomorrow and the next day. The weekend is looking grey and cloudy, but they're not calling for rain at the moment.

If you’ve ever been to Japan in the middle of summer, you’ll know just how oppressive and stifling the heat can be. To help beat the intense humidity this year, McDonald’s is sending their customers to the Tropics to cool down, with a couple of new mango smoothies on offer for a limited time.

These are no ordinary mango smoothies, though, as they contain some unusual ingredients to surprise your tastebuds as you make your way through each drink. First up is the Creamy Annin Mango Smoothie, with “annin” meaning “apricot kernel” in Japanese.

Annin Dofu (Apricot Kernel Tofu) is a popular jelly-like dessert enjoyed in Japan throughout the year, especially during summer, and while there’s a lot of confusion online about whether annin is made from hazelnut extract or apricot kernels, in Japan the consensus is that the dessert should be made from crushed apricot kernels.

Apricot kernels have a distinct flavour similar to hazelnut, but if you haven’t had a chance to taste annin before, now’s your chance, as the Creamy Annin Mango Smoothie contains the ingredient in a milky pudding base, which can be seen at the bottom of the drink. Annin is a strong flavour that has what it takes to stand up against the bold taste of mango, which is blended in the smoothie with real fruit pieces of both apple and mango, topped off with a generous serving of whipped cream.

Joining the apricot kernel-mango-apple-cream fusion drink is the Torotto Purin Mango Smoothie (Syrupy Pudding Mango Smoothie). This one looks set to be the drink of choice for true mango lovers, with Alphonso mango, one of the most superior varieties of the fruit, being the star ingredient in both the smoothie itself and the pudding base, which contains fresh mango pieces. A blend of mango and apple is used in the whipped cream topping also, making this a truly decadent mango smoothie.

Both drinks will be available in a medium size for 490 yen and a large size for 530 yen, at McCafé by Barista outlets around the country from 12 July until 10 September.

And you be certain that I'll be trying both of them! Even if I have to go to Tokyo to find the closest McCafe...actually we don't have to got to Tokyo, but Hiroshima is strangely lacking. Can somebody find out why?

Have a great day!

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