Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fuwa Fuwa Marshmallow Cake

This is actually the third or fourth one of these marshmallow treats that I've purchased. Every time I get one, I eat it before I can get around to reviewing it and taking pictures. The only reason this review is going out is that I bought two and the second one was earmarked for my husband.

These are called "cakes" but they're really just incredibly soft high-quality marshmallows with a filling. I've only ever seen them for sale in big name convenience stores like 7-11 and Family Mart. One is about the size of an egg and costs 53 yen (about 55 cents). There are a plethora of varieties of these out there, but it's hard to find them. In my Internet searches, I've seen strawberry and jam, and my husband has found lemon and caramel (which will be reviewed later). I've never seen them personally, but you can also buy boxes of 10 for 500 yen.

This particular version, which I've always assumed was the basic variety that the company started with, is filled with white bean jam. The taste is very hard to describe, but the beans don't have as strong a flavor as red bean jam (anko). There's a sense of vanilla and butter in these, but mainly they are a sweet, textural delight. The marshmallow is soft, but not chewy in the way that American ones can be. And it's not rubbery in the way that Japanese ones can be. These are unusual because they are made with gelatin instead of agar agar (a derivative of seaweed which is often used instead of gelatin in Japan). The bean filling adds a slightly grainy texture as well as flavor.

I couldn't find a manufacturer's web page for these (and there's no nutrition information on the package so I can't give calorie information), but searches turned up a ton of blog reviews and favorable mentions. Some people were unhappy about the price because it costs almost half of the price of an entire bag of regular marshmallows. I think the quality though makes it well worth it. This is like a gourmet marshmallow and I definitely recommend sampling it if you see one in a box by the check-out counter in a convenience store.

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