It's no mystery that one of the star ingredients in sweet Japanese curry is fruit. Just read the ingredient list on a box of store-bought curry roux and you'll come across ingredients like apples, raisins, dried dates, and even bananas. All very sugary, but mild in flavor. Surely, I could not possibly imagine incorporating anything citrusy or tangy into Japanese curry. Or could I?
Watashi To Tokyo spotted an intriguing variant of Japanese curry on the Yahoo! Japan marketplace: cherry curry. Yes, Yamagata Sakuranbo Karē's pink-tinged sauce is not only flavored with cherries but actually has actual plump gems of cherries in it! One might ask, "who thought of adding tart cherries to Japanese curry?!" Well, Sakuranbo Karē is a proud local product of the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan's largest cherry producer, and this curious curry is described as having a wonderful and mildly tangy flavor. To be honest, I'm both afraid and intrigued.
Japan is probably the only country that heavily markets gender-specific foods. While dark chocolate Pocky and extra-thick-cut Doritos are explicitly labeled as man-food, savvy marketers are targeting the ladies with foods that are sweet, tangy, or pink. So it's no surprise that the pink-colored cherry curry has graced the pages of Japanese women's magazines.