Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hyuga-natsu Chocolate Sand Cookies

One of my students grew up in Miyagi Miyazaki prefecture in Japan and introduced me to a fruit which is a specialty of that area. The fruit, which she gave me several months ago, is called hyuga-natsu and it looks like a yellowish orange. She told me that it was "very sour" and that I'd have to put sugar or honey on it to eat it. Give my experience with natsu mikan (summer tangerine), I was pretty skeptical about like hyuga-natsu. I'm really not a fan of loading my fruit up with sugar anyway, so I decided to try it as it was. It was delicious and tasted like a cross between a lemon and a grapefruit with only modest sour notes. I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit and told her so. As a result, she brought me this box of hyuga-natsu cookies the following week.

The generosity of my students often amazes me, and I've found that those who make lower incomes are often the most generous. She bought these cookies at the Sheraton Hotel, but I'm not sure which one. One thing I am certain of, however, is that they were not cheap. They have the look and feel of an expensive souvenir. The question was only if they had the taste.

Each cookie is a langue du chat type of cookie which is crispy and buttery. Sandwiched between the delicate crispy layers is firm white chocolate filling flavored with the citrus flavor of hyuga-natsu. Since I've had the actual fruit, I can make a comparison. These do not actually capture the true essence of the fruit, but they are delicious and carry tones of lemon and orange. They are excellent cookies of the finest quality and definitely worth every fattening bite. I say they are probably fattening based on their buttery nature rather than from really knowing the calorie count. Souvenirs in Japan rarely offer nutrition data and these were not an exception.

If you see these cookies, buy them. It's a no brainer that they will be enjoyable to anyone who loves a high quality buttery crispy cookie or citrus sweets. The tricky part is, of course, getting to a Sheraton that actually sells them.


Helen said...

I just want to check something...are you sure your student is from Miyagi? The hyuganatsu that I have had have come from Miyazaki....and they were very delicious! I liked them too.

The cookies sound good. Too bad there aren't any Sheratons around to check them out!

Orchid64 said...

Gah, you're right! It is Miyazaki! Stupid Swiss cheese brain!

Thanks for the help!

Nora said...

I think there may still be a "Miyazaki store" in Shinjuku where you can buy hyuga-natsu treats and other specialties of the region. If you get a bad craving, you know where to go!

Helen said...

Miyagi has been in the news so much lately that it's a reasonable mistake to's the prefecture next to mine as well, so I would probably have had them more often if they were from up here!