Friday, November 11, 2011

Yamazakipan Kabocha Danish

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, which is the loveliest squash of all? Is it American pumpkin, as it is rolled into pies, danishes, donuts and anything which wears cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger like a scrawny high fashion model wears a ridiculous outfit? Is it Japanese pumpkin, which pairs so well with soy sauce and mirin and studs any dish it appears in with creamy delight? The truth is that both are the ugly stepsisters to the Cinderella that is butternut squash, but nobody makes that comparison. Recently, I paid around $3.50 (280 yen) for half of a tiny butternut in a Japanese market and found that it is sweeter and has more depth than either of these traditional squash rivals. Butternut gets the glass slipper, but it's too expensive to squire to the ball on a frequent basis. I guess I'll be doing the waltz with the green-skinned stepsister.

That is not to say that Japanese pumpkin isn't worthwhile, but rather that if we're going to play a game of my gourd is better than your gourd, then we should include a full range of contestants, not just the big orange jack-o-lantern fodder and rough-skinned Japanese greenies. I love Japanese pumpkin, but in order for it to shine in a food though, there has to be enough of it to actually taste. This is a fact that seemed a bit lost on the folks at Yamazakipan. 

Unfortunately, before I purchased this packaged baked item at Lawson 100 for, obviously 100 yen ($1.23), I didn't know that "danish" meant "bread" and that a small smattering was all that was required to qualify this as "kabocha". I was captivated by the notion of enjoying those black sesame seeds with Japanese pumpkin and hoped for the best. I'm dumb like that. The bread in this "danish" is best described as "nouveau hotdog bun". The filling, when you happen upon more than a tiny, tiny portion, tastes fine, though rather thin on the pumpkin side. I get the feeling it is mixed with liberal amounts of water or some other filler to stretch it further.

Yamazakipan makes some pretty nice packaged treats, especially things with whipped cream filling, but this was a huge disappointment. I didn't exactly want baker-quality pastry, but I also hoped for something more than this. I could have lived with the lackluster bread if there had been more filling, or lived with less filling if the bread had been good, but Yamazakipan didn't give me anything at all to work with.


Nora said...

Have you tried the seasonal Morinaga Sweet Potato Caramels? They should cheer you up after this dud.

Orchid64 said...

I have! In fact, I have to review them!

Japan-Australia said...

A great Autumn treat and doesn't look too bad :)

Japan Australia