Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Crane's Village Marshmallow Eggs
If you don't pay attention to what you're buying in Japan, you can often end up buying the wrong thing. When my husband and I came across this package of egg-style treats for the mere price of 228 yen ($2.53) for 6 of them, we assumed we'd found a variation on the kamome no tamago (seagull's eggs bean cakes) that we both love.
Kamome no tamago bean cakes look a lot like these in terms of packaging. They come in the same type of plastic tray and are similarly wrapped in a nice bit of paper with Japanese writing. The main difference is that 6 of those cost about 550 yen ($6.12) and are slightly bigger than these. If these turned out to be as good as kamome no tamago, they'd be a much lower-priced treat. It would seem that "crane's eggs" are cheaper than "seagull's eggs".
As it turned out, these were a variation on something else. They are very similar to the Fuwa Fuwa marshmallow cakes. Yes, instead of cakes with beans, we were getting marshmallows with beans. Oh the humanity! Still, the Fuwa cakes are about 50 yen (46 cents) each and these were 38 yen (42 yen) each. I don't know if I would have bought them had I realized I was getting another marshmallow egg candy since I've already sampled so many of the Fuwa cakes, but this was a happy mistake as they ended up being well worth it.
Like the basic Fuwa Fuwa marshmallows, these are filled with sweetened yellow bean jam. As soon as you open the bag, you can get the scent of fresh, sweet marshmallow. The marshmallows themselves are very high quality and nice soft pillows, but have a certain taste which I associate with Japanese-made marshmallows. It's difficult to put into words, but it is like perfume and a mild chemical flavor. It's slightly off-putting when you're not used to it (sort of like the flavor of Japanese milk), but it's not an issue when you're accustomed to it. The beans themselves are relatively bland, as is often the case with white beans, but still lend a nice bit of flavor and a good textural contrast.
The main difference between these and the Fuwa cakes is that these are noticeably sweeter. They are on the borderline of being too sweet for my tastes, but they are a great coffee or tea time accompaniment. They also have fewer calories at 61 per egg, but this is likely because they're slightly smaller.
I would definitely buy these again. They're good value, a great size, and a wonderful treat, particularly if you love marshmallows and fine textures. My only caveat to those considering buying them is that they may be too sweet for some. If you have them, make sure you drink something to cleanse your palate between bites, though they're only about two bites each.