DSCN4705Mei: Tsukisamu Anpan (月寒あんぱん)
Sei: Honma of Sapporo
Type: Han-nama-gashi

When I think of “anpan”, I usually imagine the sort of sickeningly sticky anpan found in convenience stores. But this sweet rather is more similar to what is modernly called a manju. In fact, I am not precisely certain the difference between anpan and manju now. Anyway, this is a a round cake of koshi-an made from Hokkaido adzuki beans in a thin moist shell made from wheat. Other ingredients include mizuame and honey.

The reason I originally bought this sweet is because it was first manufactured in Meiji 39 (1906). It is so fascinating to think I can eat almost the same exact sweet as people were eating over 100 years ago.

The name, by the way, means “Cold Moon” and it read with a Japanese reading of “Tsukisamu”. More commonly though, the kanji are reversed and although the meaning does not change, it is read with the Chinese reading of “Kangetsu”.

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ebisenBONUS!
Mei: Giant Shrimp Crackers (えび大判焼き)
Sei: Mama (ママ) of Chiba Prefecture
Type: Yakikashi

It’s really quite impossible not to love these giant shrimp senbei the size of my head. They are savoury, with a lovely scent of the sea (磯の香り)! Broken into fourths, I think they make a nice snack to serve to guests.

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