These traditional Japanese desserts (Wagashi) are served in top restaurants in Tokyo or Kyoto. The Emperor might even eat these sweets.
1. Namagashi (生菓子)Namagashi is the general term for sweets used in Japanese tea ceremony. They must be aesthetically pleasing. Many contain sweetened bean paste.
2. Sakuramochi (桜餅)Sweet pink mochi (rice cake) filled with red bean paste and covered with a cherry blossom leaf (sakura). Sakura mochi are eaten to celebrate girl's day (Hinamatsuri) in Japan every March 3rd.
3. Amanatto (甘納豆)Beans (often azuki beans) covered in sugar.
4. Kompeito (甘納豆)Kompeito candies are small colored candies of pure sugar . They're round and have small bumps that occur naturally as part of the cooking process.
Sugar was first introduced to Japan by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. For many years afterward sugar continued to be rare and precious in Japan. Kompeito are the traditional thank-you-for-visiting gift of the Imperial House of Japan (the Emperor).
5. Hanabiramochi (葩餅)Hanabiramochi means "flower petal mochi". It's traditionally served at the first tea ceremony of the new year. This tradition began with the Imperial Family. Hanabiramochi has a distinctive shape and color. It's filled with mung bean paste. The shape and colors of the hanabiramochi have symbolic meaning (related to a new year).
6.Suama (寿甘)Suama is a dessert made of rice flour and sugar. It uses red food dye on the outside and remains white on the inside. This is to symbolize Japan. However, it often turns out pink and white.
7.Wasanbon (和三盆)Wasanbon are multicolored sugar candies. They're made of a very finely ground domestic (Japanese) sugar. Domestic agricultural products are far more expensive than imports. Domestic sugar might cost 10x the price of imported sugar. Domestic sugar is used to create special products such as Wasanbon.
8. Botamochi (ぼたもち)A seasonal treat (spring) made with sweet rice and red bean paste.
9. Karukan (軽羹)A dessert from Kyushu made of rice flour, sugar and Japanese yam.
10. Uiro (外郎)Uiro are traditional Japanese steam cakes. They're chewy and slightly sweet. They come in various flavors such as green tea, sakura, strawberry and chestnut.
11. Dango (団子)Dango are Japanese dumplings that are similar to mochi. They're served on sticks of three or four. Flavours vary by season.
12. Monaka (最中)Sweet red bean paste inside a crisp mochi wafer.
13. Yokan (羊羹) Yokan is a thick jelly dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. They often have green tea powder, chopped chestnuts, whole sweetened beans or other ingredients suspended in the jelly.
14. Manju (饅頭)Manju are Japanese sweet dumplings that have a variety of fillings.
15. Kuzumochi (葛餅)Mochi made with starch powder from the root of the kudzu plant.
16.Kusa Mochi (草餅)Kusa Mochi means "grass mochi". It's mochi made with powder from the leaves of the Japanese mugwort plant. It's traditionally eaten in spring. Kusa Mochi is usually served with sweet soybean flour as a topping.
17. Taiyaki (たい焼き)Taiyaki is a Japanese fish shaped cake. It is commonly filled with red bean paste, cheese or custard.
18. YatsuhashiA specialty of Kyoto that has the texture of mochi and contains cinnamon. They're sometimes baked and crunchy. Other times they're served soft with red bean paste filling.
Wagashi is Mostly Mochi and Red Bean PasteWell, that's a fairly extensive overview of Wagashi (traditional Japanese deserts). As you can see from the list, the Emperor of Japan eats a great deal of mochi and red bean paste.
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