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 a matcha cafe, I was at recently, I sneaked a peek at how the shopowner prepared his chilled matcha. With a cocktail shaker. Unbelievable, wonderful! I shook up this matcha with my makeshift shaker and am pretty pleased with the results poured over a single piece of ice. ㅤㅤ
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 jelly. Finally, as an interactive element, quite a large helping of black sugar syrup. This skimps out on nothing, it is pure decadence.
This blog is made out of my love for sweets, not writing.
At first bite, this was time-stopping-ly, eye-closing-ly perfect. There’s not much else to express? That I can express? Each flavour worked as harmoniously as each texture did. At turns chewy and soft, sweet and bitter, it was so well executed I am grateful to have been able to try it.
As a gentle unwritten rule with myself, I almost never get the same thing twice (with the obvious exception of annual/seasonal sweets). I might have to give a pass to this one, it was so unbelievable.
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.
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.
Another fun treat from Kumaya this is a yuzu flavoured fū manjū・麩饅頭. These seem to be more common in the summer. The outside is made out of a tofu product called yuba that I love in savoury dishes. The flavour is gentle with a great chewy but soft texture which plays really nice with the creamy citrus yuzu paste.
With all the rainy weather, I hadn’t really been in the mood for shaved ice・kakigori・かき氷 but the sun is out, its hot and perfect weather for one of my favourite summer sweets. This shop, Roponpon・ろっぽんぽん, is just beside my place and I often get their tai-mochi snacks after hiking.
This kakigoari had the fluffiest shaved ice and was topped with condensed milk, kinako flour, and almonds with red bean paste and little mochi balls hiding at the bottom. Even though this wasn’t the perfect summer, and even though summer is coming to an end, it was so lovely to sit outside on my lunch break and eat this.
It pains me to think of how fast time is going by. Here we are over half way through my precious dessert calendar! Well, it’s a great one for summer. Anmitsu! Opalescent jelly cubes, red bean paste, fruits, and black sugar syrup served chilled in a super cute cup from Kichi Zoh ・吉蔵. A cute, light treat perfect for a hot summer day.
There are a few summer holidays in July so a few friends and I escaped north of the city to Kitakyushu. Just east of there is a place I’ve had my eye on for ages: Hiraodai. It isn’t so mountainous but is more gorgeous rolling green hills and beautiful views. This group is a big on sunrises so we started our day around 3:30am and were not disappointed. I could not get enough of the morning light.
It was just like out of a dream. On the way to the summit it was a little cloudy but cleared up beautifully later in the hike.
Sometimes (every time) sunrise hikes are a bit challenging but they are so worth it. I wouldn’t be supr keen to try an 8 hour hike on so little sleep but its a great time to do smaller, less physical hikes; especially in the summer heat.
The grass was really up to my waist at some points! It was a lot of fun to go around and play around in.
Believe it or not, I did manage to find some sweets. Matcha kakigōri・かき氷 and anmitsu・あんみつ at a really old school style shop and they were beyond heaven.
I love a double snack day, I love eating a snack that looks like another food I’m eating. It’s summer, it’s time to eat watermelon of all varieties. Fukuoka gets pretty hot, but I love the heat and taking my matcha set into the sun for a little break from work is hard to beat. In this pic you can catch a peek of the mountains in the background, a bunch of which I’ve gotten to hike.
June is over already! I can’t believe it. Today’s matcha set is a bit of children’s classic: Konpeitō・金平糖, which is a cute little sugar candy. Sometimes Japanese sweets are about the delicacy and nuances, and sometimes you just need a sugar hit.