June 16th is Wagashi Day! Enjoy it with Yokan and Koshu Wine

13 Jun 2019

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What is Wagashi?

Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, anko (azuki bean paste), and fruits. They are made in a wide variety of shapes and consistencies and with diverse ingredients and preparation methods. Some are popular across the country and around the year while others are only available regionally or seasonally.

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The Wagashi Day and Sixteen Sweets

It started in the year of 848 in the Heian period when plague was spreading throughout Japan. With the hope that this disease would come to an end, and everybody would live healthily and happily, the Emperor Ninmyo changed the era to Kasho and prayed to the God with an offering of sixteen Japanese sweets. It was on the 16th of June and the number of the sweets was associated with the date. Since then this day became the Wagashi Day and people ate Japanese sweets and wished a happy life. This custom carried on until the Edo period.

Unfortunately, the custom dwindled sometime later, but in 1979 Japan Wagashi Association reintroduced the Wagashi Day back into society so that people would continue appreciating the authenticity of Japanese sweets and carry on the beautiful food culture for future generations.

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Wagashi Goes Well with Wine

Koshu wines are low in sugar and acidic content so they go well with sweets without overpowering them. Koshu has fresh but rounded acidity, and several aromatic compounds in common with Sauvignon Blanc. The most familiar Koshu style is an ultra-delicate, subtle dry white with a sleek texture. It is made from pink coloured grape, grown in the foothills of Mount Fuji, and its subtle, nuanced, fresh flavours pair with a whole range of dishes.

The recommended wine is Chanmoris Koshu Wine Shiro Yamanashikensan which uses 100% of grapes from Yamanashi prefecture in Japan. It is a slightly dry white wine characterized by a refreshing smell and clean taste.

We recommend trying youkan on with Chanmoris Koshu Wine Shiro Yamanashikensan Wagashi Day! Yokan is a sweet, firm, jelly-like snack made of sugar and kanten agar. It comes in many different flavors like azuki bean, green tea or black sugar.

Sugimotoya Shio Yokan uses "Nuchimarsu salt" from Okinawa. The saltiness matches well with the sweetness of Yokan. Sugimotoya Matcha Yokan has matcha (green tea) flavour with real matcha powder. Its elegant sweetness and great aroma of matcha will satisfy your sweet tooth!

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