Enjoy these dainty wasanbon ‘blossoms’ as part of a traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremony. These pastel-coloured sweets are formally served in the middle of the ceremony, after the guests have purified themselves and before the tea is prepared. Wasanbon sugar has a buttery flavour with hints of honey, which complements the earthy tones of the matcha. To fully experience the complex flavours and aromas of this unique sugar, allow one sweet to dissolve slowly on your tongue.
Wasanbon, also known as Japan’s ‘king of sugars’, comes from a type of sugar cane that is grown only on Japan’s island of Shikoku. The sugar is refined by hand using traditional methods in the Shikoku prefectures of Tokushima and Kagawa. The finished sugar is a pale golden colour, with a texture only slightly coarser than icing sugar. Wasanbon sugar has a reputation as being the finest sugar available in Japan, and as such is highly sought after for making sweets to be served at tea ceremonies. To make these traditional sweets, premium grade wasanbon sugar is mixed with rice or soybean starch and a tiny amount of water and food colouring to form a paste. This paste is then pressed into intricately carved wooden moulds and allowed to dry.
A general term for traditional Japanese confectionary is wagashi, with hard, dry sugar sweets such as these also known as higashi.
Ingredients: sugar, starch, colouring.
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