Nerikiri, an edible art! Beautiful high-grade traditional Japanese confectionery

Nerikiri, an edible art! Beautiful high-grade traditional Japanese confectionery

Have you ever seen showcases of beautiful traditional Japanese sweets in Japanese confectionery stores?w(*゚o゚*)w

 

 

What are they? How are they made?

 

Edible art! What is Nerikiri?

Nerikiri is a kind of bean-jam-based confectionery, and is categorized as “Jonamagashi”. Jonamagashi is a name given to the most artistic and high-grade pieces of Japanese confectionery.

 

 

In Japanese tea ceremony, Nerikiri is served together with Matcha especially with Koicha (thick Matcha tea).

Related post: thick matcha tea, koicha? matcha tea you didn’t know

 

How is Nerikiri made?

Nerikiri is actually 90% Anko, Japanese bean paste. The beautiful outside layer is made with Shiroan (white bean paste) mixed with sweet and soft Mochi (called Gyuhi), colored and finally shaped. By adding Gyuhi, it becomes easier to shape. Also Gyuhi adds smooth and a little bit of chewy texture to it. Typically, Koshian (smooth red bean paste) is added inside for taste.

Related post: what is japanese red bean paste, anko? types and how to eat at home

So, most of Nerikiri is Anko. You may be surprised that it is sweeter than other typical Japanese traditional sweets. But if you eat Nerikiri together with Matcha tea, Matcha tea clears the sweetness from Nerikiri, so they really well fitting delicious combination!

 

How Nerikiri is different from other sweets

As Nerikiri has evolved as part of Japanese tea ceremony, it entertains people with both its appearance and taste. Here are some characteristics of Nerikiri.

Each Nerikiri has its own name:
First, the word “Nerikiri” refers to all Nerikiris, and each Nerikiri has its own proper name. These proper names are given by Japanese confectionery craftspeople when they make a new kind of Nerikiri.

 

Nerikiri represents seasons:
Next, Nerikiri comes in various shapes, most of which represent seasons. Many of them resemble seasonal flowers, and there are also some that symbolize winter mountains or a piece of classical Japanese literature that suits the season.

 

Every Nerikiri is a once-in-a-lifetime experience:
Finally, Nerikiri never stays the same throughout the year. That is because Japanese confectionery craftspeople get inspired by the changing seasons and make a Nerikiri that suit the time. Therefore, every Nerikiri is a unique and an “Ichigoichie” (Japanese for ”once-in-a-lifetime“) experience.

Nerikiri lasts only 1-2 days so it is hard to buy it as a souvenir but if you visit Japan, please try it!

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

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