February 28, 2011

Souvenirs from Shinshu/信州のお土産

I got these souvenirs from my father, who went to Shinshu, his native place, to attend a reunion.

Left to right: Onsen (hot spring) manju, kurumi (walnut) yokan, and kurumi soba
左から右: 温泉まんじゅう、くるみ羊羹(ようかん)、くるみそば

Onsen manju:

You can find this type of manju in any onsen spot. One of my favorite types of manju.

Kurumi soba:

Shiro an (white bean paste) wrapped in soba dough, topped with walnuts, and dusted with powder sugar.

Kurumi yokan:

Note: Shinshu is another name for Nagano, but the people of Shinshu prefer the name Shinshu. For them, Nagano sounds like Nagano city, the capital of Nagano prefecture.
注: 信州とは長野の別名ですが、信州人は信州という名前のほうが好きです。信州人には、「長野」とは、長野県の県庁所在地、長野市のように聞こえます。


clotilde said...

Lucky you! The tradition of omiyage is so fascinating to me. When I visited Japan, I could have spent hours in omiyage stores studying all the different options (and trying to resist buying them all).

Kiki said...

Dear Hiroyuki-san,

can you tell me which kind of flour is used for the dough around the bean paste for the onsen manju 温泉まんじゅう? It looks kind of dark/brownish. I managed to make bean shaped (baked) manjus, mochi, strawberry daifuku and bean paste stuffed pink rice flour crepes (wrapped in sakura leafs) last saturday :-) The teacher was a japanese master of tea ceremony, awesome, so interesting!!!

Hiroyuki said...

clotilde: Thanks for your comment. (Sorry, I didn't recognize you until I clicked "clotilde"!)

The custom of giving omiyage is fascinating only when you are the one who is given (laugh)!

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: Plain, white flour (hakurikiko, i.e., low-gluten wheat flour), baking powder, and "kuro zato" (unrefined sugar), which gives the dough that brownish color.

You seemed to have a wonderful time with the teacher!