June 21, 2005

japanese teatime treat

Our friend T returned recently from a trip to Japan, and he brought us a present of some sort of dessert. It was beautifully packaged and well labeled, but exclusively in Japanese, so we had no idea what it might be. Last night we busted it out to go with some of the A-number 1 tip-top grade green tea that tallasiandude brought back from China.

The dessert present turned out to be crumbly white filling wrapped inside a thin layer of sweet pink ume paste, wrapped in a sweetened red shiso leaf. These were accompanied by a block of the same pink paste, with a cute little serving knife, so you could cut off thin strips and lay them over the little leaf packets. They were fantastically delicate and delicious, with the strongly perfumed shiso blending with the sweet and fruity plum paste and almost almondy dry filling, and they were perfect with the grassy green tea. Now, I like a gooey choco-treat every now and again, don't get me wrong, but when it comes right down to it, I prefer Asian-style sweets much more. They're subtler, less cloying, and often more interestingly flavored.

Posted by foodnerd at June 21, 2005 07:36 PM

Then there is the other asia: I've always found Indian deserts to be even more over-the-top in their cloying sweetness than their American counterparts. I don't see how people can eat them. On the other hand, Indian cuisine seems to be the only one that can prepare cauliflower worth a damn.

In the desert department, I'm partial to mochi balls with a dab of sweet bean paste. Mmmm....

Posted by: mkb at June 22, 2005 09:20 PM

heh, ain't that the truth? Indian cauliflower yum. I like some of the indian sticky sweets, but usually the ones involving cold rosewater syrup somehow, like the bland, moist dough balls in flowery cold syrup. Somehow refreshing despite the sticky sweetness.

Posted by: foodnerd at June 23, 2005 01:41 PM
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