Japan Is Obsessed With Cakes Made From Raw Meat

Forget buttercream frosting and fondant. Japan has discovered a new and more savory way to celebrate: birthday cakes made out of raw meat.

Some of these trending confections feature prosciutto, bacon, and roast beef arranged like roses, with birthday candles sticking out of the resulting mess. Maple syrup or gravy is often drizzled like icing on top of the carnivorous "cake."

But before you cry trichinosis, don't worry: The meat is grilled before consumption. The "cake" part is just for display — and a sweet Instagram shot.

The meat cakes have been glimpsed at the Japanese barbecue restaurants known as yakiniku. If this all sounds a bit odd, remember that in Japanese culture, rice and fish are considered staples, while meat is still a luxury item or a "once in a while" treat — much like a birthday cake would be in the United States. But that is starting to change.