Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Taste of Spring!

This is sakura-mochi with green tea. It's one of Mimi and Araiguma's favorite Japanese confections. Today, we're going to guide you through the world of the sakura-mochi!

Before getting down to business, we must apologize for our long hiatus, and thank you for your patience.

So what's sakura-mochi? You can see the pink-colored pillbox-style stuff. It's made with rice flour, with sweet bean paste inside a sakura leaf pickled with salt. You can eat them together, or of course you can pull off the leaf, if you prefer. But Mimi's recommendation is that you eat them together. The taste is a mixture of the sweet and the salty, with a gentle flavor and a lovely fragrance….

Sakura-mochi is a Japanese confectionery 和菓子(Wagashi), available in the spring, from February to the end of April. In Japan, it's customary to celebrate the seasons, and that has heavily influenced food and entertaiment. Each season has its own special wagashi, and sakura-mochi is a seasonal, limited-edition flavor in spring.

What you see in the picture is Kanto 関東(Eastern Japan) style sakura-mochi, the choe-meeyo-jee (長命寺) style. Kansai (関西 Western Japan) style is doe-myoe-jee (道明寺) style, and they're both completely different. Occasionally, one encounters local varieties as well. A recipe for choe-meeyo-jee sakura-mochi is included in our first Sampo Nikki guidebook, so if you're interested, please read it.

We must apologize because we're unable to give you a real sakura-mochi, cause it's very delicious, but we hope you enjoy the picture, and try to eat it here in Japan someday! You're sure to love it.

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