Japanese cooking is often known for its traditional salty dishes, but a note of merit should also be addressed to the pastry and its desserts.
Japanese pastry is represented in all its excellence by wagashi, traditional sweets originally created to accompany the tea ceremony.
With their sweet taste, jelly-like texture and refined appearance, Wagashi are true artworks.
Compared to Western desserts, Japanese desserts are devoid of milk and creams, while they require mainly vegetable-based ingredients such as water, rice flour, azuki beans, sesame, brown sugar and agar as a gelling agent.
Nature and the seasons are great sources of inspiration for these sweets. Hand-crafting with sticks and scissors allows to create real artworks, representing elements of nature and the current season. Unlike Western confectionery, Japanese confectionery rarely uses moulds: sweets are created freely by the hands and creativity of the pastry chef who makes them.
There are different types of wagashi, prepared according to the seasons and occasions. The most familiar wagashi are perhaps the dango, rice flour dumplings and glutinous rice that are eaten all year round, and the mochi, a roundish glutinous rice sandwich at the base of many other Japanese sweets.
If you’re planning a journey to discover Japan, then it is worth venturing to discover Japanese pastry and sweets, a new world to know but above all to taste!