Nov 6, 2016

Japanese sweets are just that, really sweet!

There's much to love about Japanese food but I've always been sceptical about traditional Japanese sweets and desserts.  A bit like breakfast over here, I've often felt that the Japanese have taken a strange path with these.

Today a friend presented me with some 'sweets' from Japanese sweet (和菓子/wagashi) specialist とらや/Toraya.  I got two pieces from their 'seasonal' range for November.  I looked them up on the website (Yes, even sweets seem to have their own webpage); the white one from the picture below is called 洛陽のみち/rakuyou no michi.  This sweet represents the ancient capital Kyoto; the lines being something to do with an old road system, and the colors those of the transitory seasons.  A super sticky layer of what my friend could only say was some kind of 'bread' covers that Japanese 'sweet/dessert' staple, anko, the sweet red bean paste (although not so 'pastey' this time, more lumpy).

The pink piece on the other hand is absent from the website, so I've no idea what it represents, other than to say it looks like a Japanese fan.  The outer layer has the consistency of spongy icing sugar, and again, the filling is anko.

Say what you like about anko, and Japanese sweets in general, what can't be denied is just how sweet these things are!  I mean, they're really sweet!  I feel like perhaps I should have been eating them with some green tea to give things a bit more balance.

It's bad form I know, but I noted the price when I was on the Toraya homepage.  洛陽のみち is selling at 450 yen.  

(The box)

Anyone out there into Japanese sweets and desserts?



Traveler, surfer, and scribe. Based in Tokyo for six years.