Fruit-berry shades of Japan
For myself, I noticed that the food in Japan is cooked very small portions. Probably why most Japanese people thin. )))
Surprisingly, until the end of the eighth century the Japanese had no idea about what sweets . As the dessert that used fresh or dried fruits, nuts and chestnuts, as well as soft, sticky rice cake “mochi”.
Let’s see what are Japanese sweets.
Sweet Japanese on the tables of aristocrats appeared in the form of a Chinese pastry made from a mixture of glutinous rice and wheat flour, in the land of the rising sun began the era of culinary sweets. However, distinctive national tradition of cooking all kinds of desserts was formed only in the twelfth century.
Traditional Japanese sweets are prepared on the basis of bean: yōkan, wire, nerikiri themselves. Bean yōkan pastille contains red bean paste, sugar and Japanese gelatin. Also added nuts, chestnuts, persimmons. Yōkan has a sugary-sweet taste and long shelf life enough. Were often presented to green tea. Wire like yōkan, but less sweet and softer. Nerikiri themselves – jam, which is made from white beans and sugar and served along with other sweets.
The oldest dish of Japanese cuisine – tortillas mochi (rice balls), which are prepared in a special way of glutinous rice varieties. It is very soft and delicate cakes, somewhat reminiscent of bubblegum. For greater taste diversity dipped them in soy sauce or sweet paste is smeared.
In Japan, sweets and flour — pies with sweet filling Manju . They “create” from a mixture of flour, powdered sugar and substitute yeast baking powder, which is then steamed. As a filling you can use nerikiri themselves.
Jellies and marmalades are very popular in Japan, there are many variations, but they all are prepared from different varieties of gelatine “agar-agar”. These dishes look very appetizing in the summer heat, especially if they still decorate with fresh fruit.
Japanese sweets are not always able to be appreciated by Europeans and even perceived as sweetness. The main difference between Japanese sweets from European – their taste: they are not as sweet as we are accustomed, sometimes not even sweet at all. But it is a healthy treat that is not harmful to the female figure, as they contain virtually no fats of animal origin and rich in fiber. This is the only sweetness . you can eat even when dieting!
The basis for traditional Japanese desserts was the “wagashi” — a paste of boiled beans with sugar. Besides in the composition of “wagashi” often consisted of rice, nuts, chestnuts, fruit and algae extracts. That is why many Japanese sweets have a distinctive taste of the unexpected, not always clear to Europeans.
Wagashi is a traditional Japanese sweets that are served green tea. They differ from ordinary confectionery products that are prepared exclusively from natural ingredients: rice dough, dough legumes, oilseeds, roots and similar products of Sernovodsk, as well as seaweed agar-agar. In addition, wagashi include walnuts, chestnuts and dried fruits.
«In Japan they say that wagasi — the most attractive part in the art of Japanese cooking. And this is primarily because each cake is made by hand using the fingertips of skillful hands of craftsmen and pieces of the soul that he puts into his creation.»
Wagasi different, less sweet taste than the usual sweets to the Europeans. They can even seem quite savoury to the people, who are not used to.
In the higher strata of Japanese society was considered a sign of good taste to the tea sweets to serve a variety of delicious forms. In contemporary society the aesthetics wagasi remained unchanged.
Over time, sweets became associated with the Japanese tea ceremony. In wealthy homes it was considered a sign of good taste excellent taste and serve with a variety of exquisite tea cakes in taste and form. The sweetness of the pastry perfectly combined with the light bitterness of green tea is strong.
A new impetus to the development of Japanese culinary art was asked by the Europeans who arrived on the island in the seventeenth century. Among other things, with them they brought sweets, biscuits and cakes, which the Japanese liked it, however, modified in accordance with national traditions. For example, the European biscuit was the ancestor of “dorayaki” — cake from two round cakes with sweet bean filling.
Dorayaki — these are two deep fried round fragrant pancakes that are joined together by the filling of adzuki. Adzuki — is a Japanese beans (red beans), are very useful for human body because they contain vitamins, fiber and protein, and starch.
Another favorite Japanese delicacy are different jellies made from different varieties of gelatine “agar-agar”. Such dishes are particularly enjoyable in the summer heat. Gelatine is prepared from a Japanese jelly “yōkan”, various holiday desserts with fresh fruits and even drinks. For example, the gelatinous cubes in the bean syrup a little reminiscent of Russian stewed fruit.
Speaking of national sweets, the Japanese poet of Kencity Kumamoto noticed that “first, they should not be too sweet; second, they must have an aesthetically attractive appearance; and, thirdly, they must be made manually. ”
Appearance confectionery Japanese betray a special importance. This is a special culinary aesthetics, inherent to this people. It is possible that this is due to the predominance of Japanese sweets are soft, jelly-like components, which is easier to create the desired attractive shape. For example, cooked white bean dish “nerikiri themselves”, in composition reminiscent of the jam, is served in the form of small figures of pine trees, bamboo or Sakura, which in Japanese are associated with longevity.
Actually in the Japanese sweets was dominated by fruit and berry shades . and based on the various jellies, jams, candy, unlike European confectionery is dominated by caramel, creams, chocolate. The Japanese almost never add to their desserts, butter and dairy products, as well as very moderate in the use of sugar. Perhaps that is why among the Japanese there are almost no fatties!
Another traditional Japanese sweet cakes are “Manju”. The technology of steaming small meat pies was introduced in the fourteenth century from China. But with the penetration into Japan of Buddhism, which preached the rejection of meat, the recipe has changed. “Manju” steel stuffing bean paste “Anko”. Sweet “Manju” was served with tea in ceremonies in Buddhist temples. In the seventeenth century and they became popular among ordinary people. In our days, “Manju” is prepared from a mixture of flour and powdered sugar, stuffed with different fillings and top it with a glaze, which add sesame or green tea.
It is hard to imagine Japanese cooking without rice balls and “mochi”, which are mentioned at the beginning. This is perhaps the oldest Japanese confectionery. To make “mochi”, sticky overcooked rice varieties are pounded in a special broth, and the resulting mass roll into small balls. The simplest “kinako-mochi” just roasted and moistened with sweet soy sauce. But, as a rule, the balls are initially steamed, cover with jam or sweet bean paste, and then sprinkled with various aromatic additives, such as grated daikon, and, for example, “Tamaki-mochi” is wrapped in bamboo leaves. In the past, “mochi” was considered a festive meal, in addition, it was believed that they give people special powers.