Posted by Mackenzie on Thursday, May 25, 2006
I discovered wagashi on the plane returning from Hawaii last year. I was reading one of those inflight magazines, and was entralled by an article about this ancient Japanese art of candy making. I have a sweet tooth that just won't quit. I never in my whole life understood how my parents could take one swig of my pixey stick, then squint, pucker, and complain about it being too sweet. I still don't totally get it. So you can imagine my delight, stumbling across a sweet treat that looked so appealling, and yet was so unfamiliar.
So, I found some here in New York at Minamoto Kitchoan. You can also order them online. It's seasonal, (you can't get the pretty peach flavored ones unless it's August and you can't get the nice cherry blossom ones unless it's April). Some have the texture of a really soft cream puff, while others resemble a more sophisticated gummy candy. All the ones I've tried, I've liked, and I think they could make really unique and elegant favors. I'm picturing just one at each place setting on crisp white china...
*note* When you place an order, make sure you tell the sales person what occassion you are ordering for and when it is. These delicacies expire within days, and can have different meanings. Some are given at funerals as gifts, while others are symbols of fertility or luck.