Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Desserts in Japan

If you know me, you know that my favorite part of any meal is dessert.  Well, I love the desserts in Japan!  Many of them don't involve dairy, and there are so many different ones to try.  The Japanese have quite a sweet-tooth, as evidenced by the incredibly long lines in front of Krispy Kreme, Cold Stone, and all French patisseries.  They especially love baumkuchen, the many layered crepe cakes.
This is just a sampling of the things I've eaten here.  Most of them time, I forget to take a picture before wolfing it down.  :)
Sakura mochi: this is a seasonal specialty, coinciding with sakura season.  See how it's pink?  It has red bean on the inside and is wrapped around a plum leaf, giving it a slightly salty taste.  Yum!

Sweet rice wine (my favorite) paired with kinako (toasted soy flour) mochi.  Kinako is definitely one of my favorite finds here.

Anmitsu: so delicious and refreshing!  It's got cubes of gelatin, with mochi, red bean paste, and some canned fruit.

I bought these in Kamakura (more on Kamakura in a separate post).  They aren't quite dessert but are a lovely snack.  Some sort of sugary ball around a peanut.  Sorry, I don't do it justice but isn't it pretty?

Of course there are a million macarons here.  Here is the official Pierre Herme one, but Dan didn't like it as much as the ones from La Maison du Chocolat.

Dorayaki: this is like a cake sandwich with red bean paste inside.  This one tasted a little eggy, so I wasn't the biggest fan, but I am a sucker for all things red bean paste-related.

Traditional Japanese sweet + matcha: this was an incredible mochi!

These purple sweet potatoes make their appearance everywhere.  I love them!  This is a cake with sweet potato paste on the inside.  They also make these into chips (with a sweet glaze on top) and ice cream and even doughnut filling!

Chocolate crepe: crepes here are kind of different, they are used more like ice cream cones!  They are so popular at Harajuku; almost everyone is carrying one.  Strangely enough, no one seems to have invited the Nutella crepe here yet.

Green bean cake from Yokohama Chinatown: quite good, never had this before, but the beans were ground very finely, so you could taste them individually.
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  1. Interesting, I heard that Pierre Herme is the gold standard of macarons. But La Maison du Chocolat is pretty hard to beat! Kyotofu has a yuzu anmitsu dessert. It's pretty much just a lot of jelly with very little topping. I thought it was something they made up to rip off customers!

  2. yeah, i don't know why dan didn't like the pierre herme one. they are supposed to be the best! i guess he thought there was too much filling. anyway, did i tell you how much I hate kyotofu?! They are such a sham -- all their tofu has milk in it!!

  3. i curse myself for not getting a pierre herme macaron while i was in paris. how are they? as good as people say??

  4. how much food do you eat everyday! jeez...

  5. well, a lot...but i'm here with dan!! c'mon!