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November 3, 2007

trio of the season


Chestnuts, sweet potatoes, and kabocha pumpkin together make hands down the three biggest favorite tastes of autumn in Japan, especially among girls, old and young. They taste great either sweet or savory, yet as they say girls like it sweet... so why not.

Flesh of chestnuts, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin, cooked, pureed and sweetened, and then shaped into small balls; this type of sweets is usually called chakin shibori, which may literally mean "wrung in a tea towel" - you take a small amount of the mixture, place it over a damp napkin or tea towel, wrap up to shape into a ball, and gently "wring" the top of the ball - I guess I might have gone through the process with some photos a long time ago, here.

These are great to nibble on as is, but I went one step further and dressed them up a bit:

Melted chocolate over the chestnut morsels, honey over sweet potato, and gyokuro (type of green tea considered to be of highest quality) jelly over pumpkin. Still looking rather bare? Might as well putting a final touch...

Cacao nibs on choc-covered chestnut morsels, toasted black sesame seeds on honeyed sweet potato, and chopped roasted pistachios on green tea-grazed pumpkin.

All went down pretty well with a cup of green tea- I wish I had some of these now, but alas these photos are from mid September... oh well. That said, I've been devouring these autumn bounties for the past good two months, and I will hopefully do a post about some of them if I get a chance. For now, there is this about pumpkin sweets; a belated Halloween post updated with more text and photos. Boo!

9 comments:

Eva said...

They look beautiful and no doubt taste fantastic! I made the chestnut ones a few years ago after your first post and have been enjoying them every autumn since.

shaun.marie said...

these look so amazing yet simple. your halloween post was the same, with beauitful photos! i'm curious about the utensil on this page - is it like a fork, in that you just spear the morsel to eat it?

Lyrically speaking said...

Ummmmmmmmm,that looks so good, beautiful!

kimmy said...

I absolute adore what you've created and you've captured them beautifully. So aweinspired by your blog, keep up the good work

food said...

very nice composition!

mycookinghut said...

I love your photos! They are beautiful!

evinrude said...

my favourites! i love them all! kabocha, chestnuts and sweet potato! mmm~ i've got to try them!

Hillary said...

This is a very interesting way to depict autumn! I like it!

chika said...

hello all, thanks for your comments and kind words!

shaun.marie - yes, it's a kind of fork that is most often served with wagashi like these. you could use a toothpick, but this way it looks a little prettier :)