Monday, January 10, 2011

Murakamiya, Sendai (村上屋餅店)

Japanese regional specialties are fraught - so many, so dull. I'm not even sure if zunda mochi are much of a specialty. Maybe we just thought they were famous because they occupied two whole pages in the travel magazine we bought in advance? Even if it was just a monthly promotion, it's a good regional specialty. Murakamiya appeared to have the most electric-green offering in the magazine, so after returning the car, walking around, and slogging through bowls of ramen, we were back there to buy take-homes.

This is a mildly classed-up version of countless sweet shops all over Japan. They have a few tables, and also lots of plaques on the walls telling you how great their wares are.The only weird thing about it was how the neighborhood around it has grown up from what must have been a real downtown, mellow area into the present 10-story apartments and offices; not many shops except this, and a big street.

I never quite understand these places - they manage to make things look pretty un-appetizing in cases. The wooden boxes usually look tired, and the plastic wrap never helps things look fresh. Even it's keeping them fresh. They had various green and yellow specialties, but...

Here's what the people line up to buy!!! Well, not exactly. But it's definitely zunda mochi.

Rather than red beans, they've mashed green beans (edamame, actually) and sweetened them a lot, then glopped the resulting glop over pellets of mochi. Somehow this works better for me than azuki-based sweets, and I enjoyed eating these for dinner a day or two later.

If you're well-traveled, you may recognize my toaster and liquor selection in the background.


  1. We will definitely have to put this on our "bucket list" of things to eat when we travel to Japan!!

  2. This does not look very appetizing. Looks a like blob.

  3. Indeed. They got a bit compressed by being sideways in my bag on the way home, but that didn't really hurt the appearance.
    It's very green though.