Thursday, October 25, 2012

I like Japanese Sweets

Mid-week feast

When I first arrived in Japan, I didn't like Japanese sweets much. Coming from a land of vanilla cupcakes, apple crisps and gooey brownies, the so-called "sweets" of Japan were not very appealing to me. Maybe too delicate, not sweet enough, not rich enough.

My taste has changed in the past few years, and I can now appreciate Japanese desserts, which are called wagashi. The traditional confectionaries are usually made from mochi (rice cake), red bean paste, and fruits. I remember taking a huge bite of what I thought was a chocolate-filled bread, only to find out it was red bean paste, to my dismay. Red bean paste (anko in Japanese) used to make me so sad.

I have become a huge fan of anko since then, as it's filling and sweet enough to please my taste buds. I love Japanese sweets as they are more delicate and shaped so beautifully, so you don't stuff your face with it like you would with cake (well, I don't know about you....). I remember living next to an ichigo daifuku shop in Marugame, which is a rice cake filled with a strawberry and anything ranging from cream cheese to chocolate or anko. I miss that shop so much!!

A few days ago I went to a cafe that serves Japanese sweets. I ate a delicious bowl of fruits, red beans, a cubed jelly called kanten, sprinkled with dark honey. On the side, I ate a stick of grilled dango (mochi balls) covered in a sweet sauce. I drank a hot ginger apple tea, as it was such a chilly, rainy day.

It was very tasty and it felt quite light and almost healthy- as far as desserts go!


Michelle {lovely little things} said...

We didn't get to try many desserts during our visit, but you're right these do sound healthier as desserts go.

Christine loves to Travel said...

Delicious! Need to try more Japanese sweets.

andnever said...

Ever since I moved to China, my biggest problem was the desserts here. They're not quite the same as in Japan, but everything is definitely less sweet here than in Canada. I got used to the subtlety and now I quite enjoy it. No more big, fatty, flaky, buttery cakes. No more macadamian white chocolate chip cookies. No more delicious icing. No more muffins or cupcakes. Just buns, buns and more buns. My tastebuds have adapted and I definitely like the snack sizes here better.