Another unbelievable wagashi from Tugi, this time their classic ‘Black’ flavour, which is creamy chocolate, wrapped in red bean paste with walnuts and dusted with coconut. Served chilled with some iced matcha on a summer day is pretty alright. Everything about Tugi is really breathtaking, even their packaging.
The cutest package wrapped in a bamboo leaf from Sanshodō・参松堂. This is another sweet using amanatsu・甘夏, a sweet, Japanese citrus fruit. When you open the leaf, the wooden pick holding it together becomes the fork. Its a wonderful little citrus-y jelly with red beans sprinkled throughout. I can’t wait for more of these!
Mini Japanese lesson! It’s about sweets, it’s important. Sweets are sometimes called kashi・菓子. There are different ways, but that is one of them. Putting another character (in our case, the character: 和) the sound is changed to ‘gashi’.
The ‘wa’ in wagashi・和菓子 refers to Japanese style. (It is also the same character in Reiwa・令, the current Japanese age. It is now year 3 in Reiwa, it began when the previous emperor absconded and his son ascended. Anyway!) The vast majority of the sweets I write about are wagashi. The ‘yo’ in yōgashi・洋菓子 refers to western style. Think cookies, cupcakes, whatever.
This super cool minazuki・水無月 from Rabbit Moon・兎月 is a unusual combo of the both! This is actually a Fukuoka original as I learned. A jellied sweet wrapped in a bamboo leaf, usually red bean or matcha flavour traditionally eaten in the summer. The flavour of mine? French salted caramel! I’ve never tried anything like it, it was so good, I will eat many more this summer I’m sure.
We are into the rainy season over here, which has definitely led to less hiking but no lack of sweets. The skies are always a little grey but at least still bright. This pretty iris wagashi is from Rabbit Moon・兎月 again. There’s a chance the sun will come out this weekend so I’m crossing my fingers to get out of the city a bit and seem some flowers out in their natural habitat because hydrangea season just started. Here’s hoping!
Another びわ・biwa・apricot treat, this time with the real thing! This wagashi is filled with white bean paste and is from Rabbit Moon・兎月, a long-standing favourite of mine. They have a really great take-out window system but I can’t wait to go back into the store someday. Until then I’m happy to try every single new thing they have.
While not my go-to flavour, I couldn’t pass up this honeydew melon dorayaki・どら焼き filled with a very mochi-sticky, white bean paste. A nice, uplifting snack that brightened up an early onset rainy season!
This week has been the Golden Week holidays, a time when several national holidays fall closely together so most people get about a week off. A friend came to visit and we explored around outdoors as much as we could. Yesterday was really the first day back home so I had 2 little treats from Kichi Zoh. A beautiful purple iris namagashi and purple 団子・dango with red bean, white bean and purple sweet potato wrapped around soft mochi.
I got some really beautiful flowers that I cannot name at the florist. The blues and purples are a fun departure from my usual palette. Imagine my surprise coming home and finding I am growing raspberries! My giant branch is a raspberry bush! At the florist where I bought it, the shop owner told me the flowers would quickly wilt but the branch would last several months. She didn’t mention anything about bearing fruit! I can’t wait for my little harvest.
I am one of the most fortunate and lucky people I know, particularly in the realm of care packages. My family sends me packages that are the stuff of dreams, and the most recent one was no exception! My mom made her own mint patties and peanut butter cups! They were so yummy and funny and cute. A nice change from my usual afternoon snack.
Another one from Kogetsudo・湖月堂, this time featuring some pretty grocery store flowers. I made the vase last week! I designed the shape digitally and uploaded it to a laser printer to cut out the wood.
Walking through Yakuin yesterday I passed by Kogetsdo・湖月堂. I went in for the first time, despite its huge popularity in Kyushu. I got this very cute little abstract camellia flower wagashi filled with white bean paste. A fun treat for the day!