Recent Japanese special foods! Sweets and bento included.

So, recently I’ve been indulging in a few different Japanese foods and sweets, so I figured I’d lump them into one post.

As you can hopefully tell by the weather in your own area, it’s finally turning to autumn! Yay! No more need for constant air conditioning, taking showers to rinse of dripping sweat multiple times a day, and all the other god awful stuff that comes with muggy, humid summers. Blech.

Another upside to fall you ask? Well, you really didn’t have to because we all know it’s the food. To me, fall is the time of year that everything seems to go really well with a caramelized onion, which is also one of the best things in the world. In Japan, some of the big fall flavors are sweet potatoes and chestnuts, which are two of the flavors from some of the sweets I recently bought:

The Japanese for chestnut is kuri, but they will often use the French term, "marron"

The Japanese for chestnut is kuri, but they will often use the French term, “marron”

Here's my haul! I got a small orange cake, sweet potato cake, and a creamy chestnut sandwich. The cakes seemed to have a base of white bean paste, possibly with other pastes, wrapped in a light cake, while the chestnut one had two pieces of cake to sandwich the cream.

Here’s my haul! I got a small orange cake, sweet potato cake, and a creamy chestnut sandwich. The cakes seemed to have a base of white bean paste, possibly with other pastes, wrapped in a light cake, while the chestnut one had two pieces of cake to sandwich the cream.

This was the inside of either the orange or sweet potato one. T'was tasty.

This was the inside of either the orange or sweet potato one. T’was tasty.

This is the outside of the chestnut sweet.

This is the outside of the chestnut sweet.

Here's a look at the inside. Sam doesn't usually like creamy things, but he said that this one worked. High praise.

Here’s a look at the inside. Sam doesn’t usually like creamy things, but he said that this one worked. High praise.


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I ate another bento! This one was a fall special theme, so it had some mushrooms and the little dessert was a bit of marron filled warabimochi, which is a soft, chewy substance made from a braken paste, often covered in kinako (soy bean powder). This bento was awesome. If you do find yourself in Japan and want a bento, I really like the seasonal ones. Also, you can find fancy bento’s in most, if not all, department store basements; that is where the food area or supermarkets are usually located, though sometimes restaurants are on the top floor as well.

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For those of us that aren’t from cultures with a very nature-based holiday system, you may not know that recently (September 15th) was the harvest moon, which is also the name of a fantastic video game. Anyway, back to the holiday: on the night of the harvest moon, Japanese people will often eat dango, a type of dumpling that is not filled with anything and it usually served in a sauce or covered with a powder. In honor of our possible last autumn in Japan, I wanted to make sure I got an authentic experience, which is why I went to the fancy sweets shop around the corner from my house (I frequent them for most of the sweets posts; gotta try ’em all). I bought some dango that are meant for that one night only and was also given sauce packets and a decorative stalk of– I wanna say… rice?

That night we had homemade gyoza (potstickers) and a dessert of dango.

Outside the dango packet.

Outside the dango packet.

A glimpse inside the box.

A glimpse inside the box.

Everything together. It came with two sauces: one was soy based with a salty/sweet flavor while the other was koshian, a smooth red bean paste.

Everything together. It came with two sauces: one was soy based with a salty/sweet flavor while the other was koshian, a smooth red bean paste.

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The soy-based sauce with some sesame seeds.

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Koshian.

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2 Responses to Recent Japanese special foods! Sweets and bento included.

  1. deb92024 says:

    All these food posts are positively sadistic when you know we can’t obtain these treats here!

    Like

  2. Leda says:

    Our harvest moon is tonight (sept 16)! And it’s a beauty’ 🌝

    Like

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