Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fujimura, Kiyosumi Shirakawa (藤村)

These lazy days of not working really agree with me, especially when they're Wednesdays. It was getting late and I was on the way home from my epic wander around Sendagi and Nezu, but I saw this sweets store on a street near my house and stopped in. I've been in the area for quite a while, and so have they, so I'm not sure why we never got acquainted before.

Actually I am - I don't really like this kind of stuff. You know when foreign people move to Japan, or just vacation here, and they say "What's up with the desserts? All those beans? Do you like them?" I don't, not compared to chocolate or something.

Still, it's cool, isn't it? I think the displays are so festive. I also think all the pre-wrapping gives it a pre-made look, and that makes me wonder when it was pre-made, and that's part of why I don't often buy this stuff.

Here, they make everything in the back. Once I established my massive cred as a local, the owner started talking about all manner of things. I love learning about the area.

These are on my table at home, as many of you can tell. They're also in the same order as the wrapped versions above, so you can correlate the packaging if you want. The top left is a 'Bassho An', which is their bit of homage to the famous poet Bassho - his old cottage is just a bit north, on the same street. It's right by a bridge; look for the hut with light-blue vinyl siding (I wish I was kidding about that) and a seated statue of an old guy outside. Incidentally, this was one of the best monaka I've ever had - so often the baked part is like styrofoam or soggy, but this tasted like it had just been baked. Top right was a chestnut steamed/baked bun, very seasonal. Bottom left was a whole green plum steamed into a bun - for some reason this was awesome. I don't know if there was anything else in there, but the sour-sweetness plus the cakey bun was sort of like a key lime pie, or a lemon cheesecake, but Japanese. On the right was again some kind of chestnut thing, but wrapped in what I swear was a thin tortilla. This was good too.

They also make 'rolls' of some of the popular things - like a log of the chestnut filling wrapped with a sheet of pastry. These are surprisingly cheap, and would make good additions to any festive holiday party.

If you're in the neighborhood, I'll take you there.

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