Japanese Rice Sweets to get you head over heels!
Wagashi or Japanese traditional sweets are known for their extremely unique flavor, color and beautiful designs. Most of these sweets are seasonal because of the fresh seasonal ingredients used to prepare these wonders. Although these sweets are now available all around the year for tourists but the freshness and premium quality of the sweets are evident in their very own seasons.
Hishimochi- The March treat
This is a diamond shape mochi (rice cake) which is prepared as an offering. It is mostly pink white and green in color and decorated with the dolls of emperor and empress. It tastes like normal mochi but needs to be cooked before you can eat it.
Botamochi/Ohagi- The March/September treat
Rice are cooked sticky and then covered with either red bean paste, soybean flour or sesame seeds. Although there is no difference in both dishes, most locals call this dish Botamochi in spring season and Ohagi in fall.
Also read: Attention Foodies – Here Are Few Clever Food hacks while in Japan!!
Sakura Mochi- The April Treat
This spring treat is packed with flavor. This mochi is wrapped in salted cherry leaf. Sakura Mochi which originated from Tokyo is called Chomeiji Sakura mochi whereas the one originating from Kyoto is called Domyoji Sakura mochi. However now days both are available wherever you go in Japan but there are still groups of people, in terms of those who eat it with the leaves and those who discard the leaves.
Yomogi Mochi- The April Treat
This mochi is green in color, prepared with young Mugwort shoots which give it its green color. Many confectioners boil and dry these shoots to use them to make Yomogi Mochi throughout the year because of tourist demands.
Kashiwa Mochi- The May Treat
This rice cake is made up of Uruchi rice flour and red bean and then wrapped in an oak leaf. Just like Sakura mochi, some people eat the leaf some discard it. This sweet is usually prepared to celebrate Children’s day on May 5th. It is so because it is believed in Japan that old leaves on an oak tree are only replaced by newly budded young leaves representing the young children who will be the bright future of Japan. Therefore this treat is especially served to children on Children’s Day.
Also read: A Foodie’s guide to famous Japanese Dishes
Kozu Mochi- The June Treat
This transparent rice cake is made of Kuzu flour and is served with Soybean flour and Brown sugar syrup. This mochi is different from mochi sold under similar name in Tokyo, which is made of fermented flour. Since both look similar, we advice you ask the confectioner whether the mochi is made of Kuzu Flour or not.
Tsukimi Dango- The September Treat
Believed to be prepared on full moon as a thanks offering for the harvest, these round rice dumplings also look like the full moon. They are presented usually in a number of 15 dango, like showed in the picture. The dango pyramid is made of 9 dango at the base, 4 in the middle and 2 on top.