i just couldn’t resist any longer. i ended up searching for a japanese market. i discovered a couple of stores and settled for the one closest in my area.
i knew i would fall in love with some cool stuff so i gave myself a $20 budget before i walked in. i was adamant i would only buy the most necessary things to make at least one wagashi with – like kanten and red bean paste. and i was hoping to find matcha kit-kat.
i grabbed a red plastic basket, and i was greeted by an old japanese woman. i snailed my way through all the aisles like i knew how to read hiragana, katakana, and kanji – luckily, they labeled the stickers with english, too. and i recognized some of the things on the shelves. but oh, the pottery, tea pots, and beautifully crafted plates. i died a little at each aisle. eyeing every shelf the way i do strolling through japanese gardens in awe of maple trees.
i thought about taking pictures of the small nakata japanese market, but it was the closest to japan i’d ever been, and there were so many things that distracted and peaked my curiosity, and i just lingered in those moments. but i will be a repeat customer, and i bowed a goodbye to two old japanese women like i knew what i was doin’.
i picked out various treats to take home and sample. i’ll update with a comprehensive guide later.
i’ ll start with my favourites and down to the ones i can live without.
sanshoku dango: it’s nothing like good marshmallow (i don’t like ‘mallows) but has similar consistency. it’s extremely soft and light to touch. it’s slightly sticky once you get a bite, and then it dissolves in your mouth. it’s made with mochi and filled with delicious red bean paste that isn’t too sweet. you have to consciously eat and chew because you will quickly forget as if you’ve sailed through the lethes snacking on these. time stops and ceases to exist and you’ll be transported to a happy place. you will deny you’ve eaten one until all but one is left. it’s one of the best stuff in the world. share sanshoku dango with the people you love.
pocky : i love the crispy, crunchy cookie stick, and coated with sacred creamy matcha, with what tastes like it’s been mixed in white chocolate or cream. if you like the green tea frapp over at starbucks – this is like the stick version. good, good stuff.
?: it’s like the skin of poundcake and filled with firm red bean paste jelly. i like this very much. it reminds me of really good pancakes and maple syrup for some reason…
mizu yokan: firm red bean paste jelly with chestnuts. not too sweet and it reminds me of another asian dessert that i love. don’t hate me if i sprinkle fresh grated coconut on top of these.
awashimado kuri manju: a bread bun filled with slightly powdery white bean paste with just a hint of sweetness.
chocolate pastry roll: basic natural yeast bread, thinly marbled with chocolate. extremely light and fluffy. nothing spectacular. it would probably taste awesome heated and buttered up.
anpan: a baked bun filled with white bean, more powdery than a paste. other variants with matcha. delicate and subtler sweetness.
??: uh… jellied lemon candy coated with fine white sugar. less sweet than that of ‘turkish delights’ (i don’t like those either), which this reminds me of. not my favourite at all. but it sure is pretty to look at.