In Japan, there are two categories of dessert–traditional and modern day.
Traditional desserts are often made with rice flour instead of wheat flour and contain sweet red bean instead of sugar. This is because sugar and flour were very expensive and hard to come by in Japan.
Wagashi are seasonal, and special wagashi are made for each matsuri, or festival. To this day, they are an important part of tea ceremonies and fancy meals.
Modern day desserts, on the other hand, include the crazy candies you find monthly in your Japan Crate as well as Western-inspired items. Many of these desserts resemble those that can be found in the US, but with a twist!
Attention to detail and presentation are very important components of Japanese desserts–traditional, or modern day!
In July’s Japan Crate, you can find three traditional Japanese dessert flavors:
This Choco Bar Z is kinako flavored. Kinako is roasted soybean power, and is a traditional topping for desserts with squishy textures, like mochi and dango. In this case, the kinko is topping for a crunchy bar. Therefore, this candy can be considered a modern day twist on a traditional flavor!
This is a very traditional Japanese dessert! This azuki mizu yokan is a sweet red bean pudding. It is made to highlight the sweet red bean taste in its purest form.
3. Corn Potage
Corn potage is not a traditional Japanese dessert, but it is a unique flavor you can’t find elsewhere! Japanese corn potage is similar to cream of corn soup in the U.S. However, this creamy soup is much more popular in Japan, and is considered a comfort food much like chicken noodle soup is here. Throw the flavor on a chip, though, and the result is quite modern day.
Many Japanese vending machines offer a hot can of corn potage for those rough times when you just need a little comfort food.