Food, Japan, Tokyo, Travel

Japanese Namagashi 生菓子

June 29, 2016

Some may not realized that Dorayaki (Doraemon’s favorite) is part of Wagashi, the general term for Japanese confectionery. Others include Daifuku (pounded sweet rice stuffed with red bean paste and sometimes one whole strawberry), Dango (small, sweet mocha skewered on a stick), Mochi (I believe this needs no introduction), Sakuramochi (glutinous rice cake filled with red bean paste and wrapped in pickled cherry leaf), Taiyaki (fish-shaped cake) and many more.

Wagashi can be further categorized into Namagashi 生菓子(wet confectionery), Han Namagashi 半生菓子(half-wet confectionery) and Higashi 干菓子(dry confectionery) according to their production method as well as moisture content.

My favorite of all has to be Jōnamagashi 上生菓子, which share the same characteristic of 30% or more moisture under Namagashi. These delicate pieces inspired by nature thus vary according to season; sakura design is common during spring as maple leaves in autumn.

However, due to its high moisture content; it can only last up to maximum 2 days from production date. Some may be best-consumed within the same day. The cost to pay for a single piece of Jōnamagashi could be a staggering 250yen yet it is priceless for an edible art.