Spring-themed sweets start to appear in sweets shops in town and a sweets section in department stores after the middle of February, as if to show the arrival of spring. We will introduce some of the sweets with an attractive cherry blossom motif.
Sakuramochi (cherry blossom rice cake) is a popular cherry blossom sweet. “Chomeiji”, originated in Tokyo, is made by kneading flour into a thin dough and baking it, then gently wrapping it around bean paste (sweet paste made from cooked red beans). On the other hand, “Domyoji”, which is also called Kyoto-style Sakuramochi, is a ball-shaped rice cake which has grains of rice remaining, filled with bean paste and wrapped in cherry leaves pickled in salt.
This is a steamed sweet where bean paste is wrapped in dough made from flour. There are ones with pink dough and ones that have salted cherry blossom on top.
Sakura yokan (Cherry blossom bean jelly)
Cherry blossom bean jelly is made by coloring a sweet white bean paste, made from white kidney beans, into pink with food coloring and setting it into square by agar. Some of them have salted cherry leaves and blossoms mixed in them and others have two layers combined with other flavors.
Cherry Higashi (dry sweets)
Higashi is a Japanese confection where dough, consisting of mixed of rice flour and sugar, is formed in a mold and dried. Ones with the shape of petals and buds of the cherry blossom come out in spring.
Not only Japanese confections but Western sweets with a theme of cherry blossom are also popular during this season. They do not only imitate the shape and the color but some of them use cherry blossoms as an ingredient, letting you enjoy its taste and aroma.
Most cherry sweets are sold for a limited period of time from mid-February to around April. Why don’t you enjoy the taste and the beauty of Japan which is available only in spring?