It's been a hectic week for me, and as if it's not enough, a typhoon is coming (AGAIN!) It might hit us tomorrow evening. (Well, I cheated on the date again. I actually wrote this on Aug. 1st.) So I wanted to post a refreshing photo here in order to soothe my mind as the week gets messy.
I'll write more about this cute wagashi later this week or weekend. Until then, PLS enjoy this photo. Hey, don't you feel like jumping in the stream and swimming with this sweetfish? ;)
Wakaayu is a common summer wagashi that you can find at most traditional wagashi shops in Japan in June and July (maybe August, too.) The cute face and fins are branded on the golden-brown wrapper, which is usually done by hand work.
Those who are familiar with wagashi such as dorayaki or mikasa might expect to see an (sweetened bean paste) inside because this pancake-like wrapper and an makes such a popular combination. Actually in Kanto area, i.e., the eastern part of Japan, sweet bean paste is wrapped inside this wagashi (sometimes WITH gyuhi). However, in Kansai (the western part of Japan), especially in Kyoto, what’s inside of wakaayu wagashi is only gyuhi, soft and sweet rice cake made from mochiko.
When I tried this wagashi for the first time in my childhood, I was a little disappointed to feel the texture of gyuhi on my palate because I was expecting an inside. But now, as a middle-aged woman, :P I very much enjoy the lighter sweetness and silky texture of gyuhi with this not-too-sweet wrapper. Wagashi with too sweet bean paste often makes me thirsty, but wakaayu doesn’t, yet it goes very well with cold green tea, I think.
This site shows you how wakaayu is made. See how they shape the hot pancakes with their fingers? Though this wagashi is supposed to represent the refreshing coolness of the river in summer, the procedure of making it seems to be the opposite. (Thank you, confectioners, for doing all these works to please our taste buds and eyes.)
* Wagashi by Ogasawara
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Posted by obachan at 7/31/2007 11:58:00 PM