Takoyaki originates from the rough-around-the-edges city of Osaka, an ancient port town that spent periods as the official capital and served as a hub for industrialization and even organized crime.
When enjoying Japanese cuisine one of the things that will catch your eye is how well presented food is set before you. The tray becomes a garden, curated by a master who carefully placed food on tastefully chosen ceramic pieces of different colors, shapes and sizes.
It’s crazy how popular tea is in Japan. You can find all sorts of bottled teas being sold in convenience stores or vending machines across the country, and in some restaurants, they even offer hot tea as a free beverage because many Japanese people like to have tea while they’re enjoying their meals.
Kit Kats, Pocky, umaibo—many of Japan’s most popular snacks might give the more health-conscious among us pause. But despite the country’s well established enthusiasm for colorful, super-salty, and sugary treats, there are just as many healthy Japanese snacks as there are indulgent ones.
When you think of Japan and wagashi, the first images that spring to mind are mochi and all things anko. But there is a wagashi staple that can be confusing for most—Nagasaki’s Castella. It looks like your typical sponge cake, simple but delectable. It is great with black tea or coffee for a sweet snack at home. So how did Castella become a Japanese cake?