Beans in your soda? It's more likely than you think - in fact, it's about to happen if you live in Japan. Pepsi Azuki,
scheduled for nationwide release this October 20, owes its rich maroon
hue and "sweet, mellow and refined" flavor to a Japanese traditional
food, prepared red azuki beans.
Azuki beans boiled with sugar are a frequent component of Japanese foods. Red bean paste fills baked buns and pastries, is eaten as a Turkish Delight style jelly called Yokan and is served as a porridge or soup called Shiruko.
Candy aficianados will also find azuki beans flavoring Japanese Kit Kat chocolate bars. All these recipes are at least somewhat flavorful, though some of the variations are an acquired taste.
As the latest in Pepsi Japan's seasonal sodas, Pepsi Azuki won't likely be sold long enough to become anyone's acquired taste and judging by the soft drink giant's previous efforts, no time is long enough.
To refresh your memories (if not your taste buds), Pepsi Azuki is preceded by Pepsi Shiso (Perilla), Pepsi Blue Hawaii and Pepsi Ice Cucumber. It's enough to drive one to Coke! (via Japan Probe and Buzz Tum)