One aspect of Japanese cuisine
less familiar in the West is the fine art of
traditional Japanese confectionery.
cakes, pastries and cookies --
known in Japan as yôgashi 洋菓子 -- are designed
to be stand-alone desserts or kiddie treats, Japanese
confections (wagashi 和菓子) are originally intended for use in the
Since the ceremonial matcha tea is rather strong and bitter,
wagashi are almost always cloyingly sweet and moist
to better contrast the tea's flavor.
Nearly all wagashi use one or both of these two
There are no substitutes for anko or mochi,
and they form the essence of Japanese confectionery.
Nearly everything else is just for decoration or for subtly varying
The following covers only a small fraction of the more popular
categories of wagashi:
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