It is no surprise that cool stream is a popular wagashi motif in hot and humid Japanese summer. Especially for the tea ceremony in olden days when there was no air conditioner, wagashi confectioners must have done their best to bring in a touch of coolness with their wagashi which usually accompanies hot (or at least warm) green tea. And the summer motif has been passed down for more than a hundred years and is still favored today.
For this type of wagashi, azuki bean paste is often used for the river bottom and kanten jelly for the water. And confectioners often add something of their choice -- such as leaves, small fish, pebbles, bubbles, etc. -- as an accent. I wasn't sure what these leaves in the above wagashi photos were made of, but I did love the color gradation. :)
BTW, they usually try not to leave tiny bubbles in kanten jelly wagashi, but I suppose they included the bubbles on purpose in this case. It looks like that the leaves are in a real water, and thus looks more refreshing.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Posted by obachan at 7/31/2008 06:46:00 PM