Alongside the changing colors of leaves and holidays/festivals being some of our favorite aspects of the Fall, we also – naturally – love the delicious seasonal flavors, especially those with visions of all things sweet!
With the Spring and Summer seasons being known for delicate, floral flavors in Japan, Fall brings an abundance of earthy and sweet flavors. Read on to learn about some of the most popular flavors of Autumn desserts and foods in Japan!
In the U.S., we are use to the famous song “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”, and in Japan, the earthy nut is the must-have flavor in the Autumn season! The sweet nut, called kuri, is an absolute favorite amongst all in Japan, and it’s hard to turn a corner without seeing the spiky nut, be it in cakes, drinks, or chocolates.
In their purest form, chestnuts come coal-roasted from street vendors. You can also hop over to the supermarket for freshly-roasted or packaged, roasted chestnuts. We love experimenting with baking, so why not try your hand at home-roasting whole chestnuts to make the following delicious, popular desserts?!
In English, when hearing the word “pumpkin”, one instantly thinks of the large, orange fruit often used for carving into a Jack’o’Lantern to decorate with during Halloween. In Japan, however, it’s all about kabocha squash, which is quite different than a traditional pumpkin, as it’s smaller in size and green in color!
Although you would have trouble carving kabocha squash, the fruit makes up for this in its delicious flavor. The soft and airy flesh is sweet and slightly nutty, making it perfect for a variety of desserts and foods! We recommend these yummy options:
Last but certainly not least, sweet potatoes are another very popular native flavor to Japan, especially during the Fall season. You may even hear a truck drive by during the cooler seasons with a loudspeaker shouting “ishiyakiimo, yakiimo!” or “stone roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes!”
Satsumaimo – or sweet potato – in Japan usually refers to a sweet potato that is purple on the outside and yellow on the inside. The deep purple (both inside and out) version is known as beni–imo; it has a beautifully colored flesh, making it very popular to bake sweets with, as the color blends right into whatever food you are creating! Here are some popular dessert recommendations using beni-imo:
We know, you’re probably hungry after reading this, too! These three flavors are exactly what you need to experience Autumn desserts in Japan ^.^