Friday, August 4, 2017

Aya Usagi White Bean Cakes

One of the big differences between my blogging in Japan about Japanese food as compared to doing so in the U.S. is that it costs me at least 50% more. This sucks, but, as someone accustomed to paying at least 50% more for imported food when I lived in Japan, it's something I'm quite accustomed to.

The other difference is that I feel more like I have to ration my treats because I can't get them as cheaply or easily as I once did. This is one of the reasons that I haven't hoovered up my stack of manju from Nippon-ya like an anteater that has a mental health disorder. I imagine that, for anteaters, having a vacuum cleaner complex is probably similar to having a Napoleon complex among humans. I am all powerful! All ants will be consumed through my magnificence protuberance like Dorothy during a Kansas tornado!

I'm sure nobody comes to my blog to hear me inhabit the reality of anteaters with mental health challenges - well, maybe a few bodies do - so I will get on with talking about bean cakes. I waited until well past the point of reason to eat the last one and savored every little morsel. Unfortunately, though these were quite fresh when I opened the box, holding out on the last one until after the box had been opened for nearly a month meant the last one was a bit stale. This isn't any sort of indictment of the cakes because they held out for a long, long time. However, I do recommend you eat them within three weeks of opening the box. The oxygen absorber can only do so much.

This was, by far, my very favorite of my haul from Nippon-ya. The cakes themselves (when not well-aged)  have a soft, thin, cake covering a good portion of white beans that are generously sweetened, but not cloying. They have a lovely flavor which brings to mind butter, vanilla, and yellow cake, but doesn't really fit any of those descriptions. Sometimes, these types of cakes are a bit bland and mushy, but this definitely has a flavor profile. It's not incredibly deep as it tends to be just that indescribable flavor and sugar, but it's very satisfying.

The beans in these have a slightly fudgey texture to them, especially when they're fresher and moister than my antiquated final cake. I'm guessing this is delivered courtesy of the white adzuki and kidney beans as well as the multiple sugars (as sugar adds moisture)

Where I bought it: Nippon-ya (San Francisco)
Weight: 11.6 oz.
Price: I don't recall exactly, but I think it was $12.95.

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