Summer Matcha Lessons

Another beautiful item from Tugi, 黒糖胡桃餅・black sugar and walnut daifuku. Smooth and creamy black sugar paste is wrapped with a lightly bitter walnut mochi. Extremely good. On a matcha note: I learned a new technique. I struggle a lot making chilled matcha, it’s where the quality of your matcha powder becomes obvious and no matter how good you think your whisking technique has gotten, chilled matcha will humble you. At… Continue reading Summer Matcha Lessons

The Best Anmitsu of All Time

A bold assertion? Maybe, but one I can make without hesitation. This anmitsu is from Tugi and could be in my top 5 Japanese sweets of all time. On the top layer, there is a generous scoop of coarse red bean paste, delicate & fluffy white mochi, and the most flavourful preserved apricots. Sandwiched in the middle is kanten jelly with little beans, on top of the smoothest matcha pudding-like… Continue reading The Best Anmitsu of All Time

Sweet combo

Officially my last Hakata minazuki from the festival, this one is warabi mochi flavoured. It had a deep favour from the black sugar which was in great balance with its light jelly texture. Such a great summer treat; I miss all the minazukis already.

Field Trip: Nakasu Zenzai

A couple of the added benefits of my Japanese sweets enthusiasm are seeing new or different parts of the city and lots of walking. I have walked to nearly every place, with some exceptions for picking up things while I’m out and the odd day during the rainy season. Even though it was over 30 degrees and over 75% humidity, I woke up and knew I needed to have zenzai:… Continue reading Field Trip: Nakasu Zenzai

Field Trip: Wagashi Ensa

Dessert for lunch again! Welcome to Wagashi Ensa・和がし圓左, a super cute cafe that has been on my wish list for a while. I got one of the sweet sets that includes sweet, frothy matcha, strawberry amazake ice cream, (from left to right) konpeitō・金平糖, mizu manjū・水まんじゅう and minazuki・水無月. Konpeitō is a confetti-like sugar hard candy that is fun to eat and very classic. Mizu manjū is soft jelly with ultra-light and… Continue reading Field Trip: Wagashi Ensa

Hakata Minazuki: Amazake Pudding Edition

A marriage of two (three?) great loves: Hakata minazuki & amazake ( & pudding?). Amazake・甘酒 is a sweet, fermented rice drink with a real umami flavour and extremely low (or non-existant) alcohol content. This was one of my last Hakata minazuki treats: amazake pudding topped with sweet, bouncy gellied red bean paste. This was also one of the best ones! Pudding is definitely not one of my go-to’s, despite its… Continue reading Hakata Minazuki: Amazake Pudding Edition

Hakata Minazuki・博多水無月: Tea & Citrus

Working my way along my sweets haul, today I unwrapped 2 triangles. The dark brown on the left is hōjicha flavoured; roasted green tea. I am a huge hōjicha fan, it is deep and rich and a bit smoky. In my opinion, it’s the tea closest to coffee. It’s what I crave on cool rainy days or from the start of autumn. Not necessarily something I associate personally with summer… Continue reading Hakata Minazuki・博多水無月: Tea & Citrus

Minazuki Fruit Salad

Firstly, I did not eat all of these at the same time. Even if I wanted to, I would be hard-pressed to consume that much caffeine at once. The first one is a cute Hakata minazuki・博多水無月 wrapped up to mimic a pineapple! So sweet. The left is my unwrapped pineapple. Amazing, perfection. The right is white peach. Very delicate, soft. Best for last: wild mountain plum. This was my favourite… Continue reading Minazuki Fruit Salad

A Magical Time: June, or Minazuki season

I had thought maybe since this was my second summer in Fukuoka I wouldn’t be as excited for Hakata minazuki・博多水無月. Incorrect! Better than Christmas. Minazuki is both the word for June in the old Japanese calendar and a sweet eaten in the same month. Hakata minazuki is a regional (Fukuoka city) take on the traditional delicacy. It is surprisingly recent and most shops involved have an individual spin on it.… Continue reading A Magical Time: June, or Minazuki season

Field Trip: Kuromojiya・黒文字や

Kuromojiya・黒文字や is a very old school cafe near me. How old school? You can still smoke inside. I used to come here for lunch with a friend fairly often but I came with a single goal in mind: dessert. I got the kuromitsu kinako parfait・黒蜜きな粉パフェ, or black sugar syrup & toasted soybean flour parfait. If asked to describe my dream parfait, I’m not sure what else I could have included.… Continue reading Field Trip: Kuromojiya・黒文字や

Field Trip: Cafe Hiragi

It’s so infrequent that I have matcha outside my home, but when I do it always serves as a good reminder of how novice I am. Cafe Hiragi・珈琲ひいらぎ is a coffee & matcha cafe near me that I’ve walked by a zillion times but I finally stopped in to have some velvety matcha. The music is all classics on vinyl and the coffee ware is incredibly adorable. It was a… Continue reading Field Trip: Cafe Hiragi

Field Trip: Mume

Mume, a 2 seat reservation-only cafe that books up seemingly instantly has been on my wishlist since I moved to Fukuoka. I check every month, and every month there is not a single space in the calendar. By some miracle, when I checked last week there was a single spot late afternoon in a few days. It did not disappoint. Faced with the decision of which dessert I wanted to… Continue reading Field Trip: Mume

Summer Stone Fruits

A very traditional and beautiful old sweet shop I go to often is Kamiyaseika・加美家製菓, the owner is so sweet and chatty. They sell some items in front of their shop and never lack seasonal treats. I bought these mizumanjū・水まんじゅう which are perfect and refreshing in the summer. The pink is plum & white bean paste wrapped in jelly and the pale yellow is peach flavoured.

Hydrangeas: Volume 2

Another adorable hydrangea wagashi from Kichi Zoh・吉蔵, this being one of the most fun to eat sweets I can remember. There is an iridescent soft jelly dome around smooth white bean paste. At the lightest touch, the dome collapses as the little individual petal cubes bounce down. It was as pretty deconstructed as it was before I started eating it.

Hydrangeas: Volume 1

At Kichi Zoh・吉蔵, my favourite local spot, there are hydrangeas everywhere; on the walk over, outside and inside the shop, as well as inside the wagashi case. This one is new to me, little coloured sweet jelly positioned inside what I can best describe as a wet meringue. It was so soft and light and very gently sweet, a lovely floral treat.


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