Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sweet Seasons / February 2007 - Plum blossom -



Many people love plum blossoms here as a messenger that brings a sign of early spring. When we notice the sweet fragrance of the plum blossoms in the crisp and cold air, we know that the winter is almost over. It is a little different this year, though. When we enjoyed the fragrant flowers, it was unbelievably warm – almost as warm as late spring – and now the flowers are gone and it’s getting cold again. Strange weather, indeed.

But still, the combination of snow and plum blossoms is a Japanese favorite, which I think is the theme of this wagashi, too. The white bottom probably represents snow. The bottom part looked like milk jelly to me, but to my surprise, it did not taste or smell like milk at all. I also love it that the pink flowers are at the bottom, not on the surface, of the top layer of the jelly. What a lovely idea. :)


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10 comments:

mama bok said...

Ahh.. so pretty..!

Mako said...

When Japanese serve food, whether wagashi or just food in itself, it always seems to be a piece of art... and yeah, they're right, it should be a piece of art. ^^

Ireney said...

It's really cute!I really love the soft pink flower.
Spring is here too in Vancouver and flowers are waking up:)

obachan said...

mama bok
Yeah, the flowers looked so beautiful.

mako
Well, to me, food from any country seems to be a piece of art. :)

ireney
Here we didn't really have a winter this year. It has been so warm all the way and I felt a bit strange seeing plum trees blooming in the real springy weather.

sweet said...

hi obachan! kinda off topic question, but what is the difference between mochi and manju? i live in california and there are a lot of manju/mochi shops but i don't know the difference anymore. a shop owner once told me that manju = baked and made from wheat flour and mochi= steamed from rice flour and both can be filled or not. but further googling shows other wise...

so i decided to ask the obachan! who else to ask!!!

-sweet

shigatsuhana said...

It is beautiful. I wish I could eat it! :)

obachan said...

Sweet
Mmmm… I’m positive that there are many people out there who can give you much better answers, but since you chose me, let me do my best… ;)
What the shop owner said is not totally wrong. Manju dough is usually made from wheat flour and water but rice flour can be also used. (Baking powder could be added. ) It is typically filled with sweet bean paste and steamed, but some baked ones could be called manju, too. The bottom line is that the texture of the skin is rather cake-like.

The most traditional type of mochi is made by pounding steamed glutinous rice. But if you mix rice flour and water and heat it, it is also called mochi. The texture is elastic, sticky and slimy, maybe silky, so it’s totally different from manju. Mochi is such a versatile food. It can be chopped and thrown into soup dishes (which we cannot do with manju), or re-heated and eaten with soy sauce. It can be filled with sweet bean paste or dressed with sweet sauce.

Hope this helps.

Shigatsuhana
This sure was a lovely one. :)

tigerfish said...

I happened to stumble upon your blog while surfing. Oh, your blog is so pretty with food colors. I'm goin' to come here often. :D coz I'm a foodie.

obachan said...

Hi tigerfish!
Thanks for your nice comment. I hope you keep coming back. :)

tingting said...

Ohh, it's beautiful!