Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Japan's Sweets

As I looked for inspiration for today's post that somehow {for no reason why} went with yesterday's post, I stumbled into images of Japanese sweets or Wagashi. I don't know how many of you have had the chance to eat any but they are beautiful to see and delicious to taste {see yesterday's post}.

They started being made in Japan when the Japanese started the sugar trade with the country, whic was brought from India about 400 years ago. Since then, wagashi has become an important part of tea rituals, celebrations and everyday life.

Each season new wagashi is made to reflect what the season is all about. There are many types of sweets and many of them involve a type of small cake with a filling or a jelly like shape with fruit in them. They are made in the majority with natural ingredients including red bean, kidney beans, glutinous rice, powdered rice, sweet potatoes, sesame, agar-agar and sugar. 

My favorite type is mochi, which some of you might have seen or had at your local sushi restaurant or as topping at you frozen yogurt store. It is made with many fillings and flavors being the most popular the green tea and chocolate ones.

Wagashi is typically made by hand by skilled confectioners who make the different forms, press them into molds and decorate them to resemble animals, flowers or allusive to a specific festivity {they even make them for Christmas!}. If you want to buy some check out your local specialty store or this website.

Have a nice day and marvel at the sweetness!