Autumn Flavours

Just hungry, one of my favourite food blogs, wrote about the Japanese onomatopoetikon hoku hoku that can be used to describe the tastes of most autumn specialities:"starchy, dense, sweet flavor and texture. Think of roasted sweet chestnuts, winter squash, and sweet potatoes." Yesss, all that is omnipresent here in Tokyo at this time of the year and I love it!
Last weekend I was at my favourite bakery Paritto Fuwatto again and there I bought a wonderful bread that combined two of the goodies that are in season now: Kabocha (Japanese winter squash) and Satsuma Imo (the purple coloured Japanese sweet potato). They also had other varieties of this beautifully striped bread, for example with walnuts or Yomogi (mugwort) and like always it was hard to decide what to take.. In the end I went for the one you see on the photo above and it was awesome: soft, but still chewy, luscious, moist and with a natural sweetness. Especially with a little chestnut spread (maron kuriimu) it was a heavenly combination of the best autumn flavours.

Kaki (also known as Persimmon) is another symbol of the Japanese autumn. It not only looks pretty, it is also sweet, lush and healthy. You can get them fresh or dried (then they are called Hoshigaki) or even get your coffee flavoured with a nice persimmon syrop (as seen and tasted in a café in Kagurazaka dôri - yummie!).
If you buy fresh ones here in Japan better don't take cheap offers at the moment: because of Typhoon No. 9 last month large parts of the harvest were spoiled! The fruits look perfectly fine, but when you cut them the inside is all brown and the flesh is hard and doesn't taste sweet and intense as it should. I had this problem with those you can see on my picture - what a disappointment! They are sold really cheap in big bags at the moment, without letting customers know that they are not quite the way they should be. As so often it is better to spend a few more Yen for good quality. Then Kaki are a real treat for every fruit lover.


Harvey said...

This blog is a lifesaver! I have some friends coming to visit in March, and one is a total vegetarian, not even fish eggs, I was wondering what to do! Now I can use your site as research! Thanks!htt

Julia said...

you're welcome :)
there are plenty of opportunities, also for strict vegetarians, it is just a little more effort.. but usually it is totaly worth it and you will surely get to know some great, new and surprising aspects of Japanese cuisine. I will post another restaurant recommendation in the next days - just found another excellent place today ;)

vegetablej said...

Kaki are great. I also got some of the brown-inside ones that weren't too good recently. But yesterday I got a few organic ones from my local Anew store and they are spectacular.

I suggest you search out your local Anew store. Not only do they have great fruit and vegetables (though a small selection), but they have the best brown rice in Japan. And I just got some organic apples that taste the way apples should. A great place to shop.

importfone said...

I let my kaki sit for 2-3 weeks. They soften and become really luscious.