Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi
|Category||food / Wagashi|
When visiting Kyoto, most people pick up some yatsuhashi as a souvenir. Yatsuhashi are Kyoto’s quintessential sweet. Similar to a hard cookie, they are made of rice flour and sugar and baked in an oven. You can also get so-called nama, or “raw”, yatsuhashi, which are steamed, rather than baked, and filled with an (red bean paste). Both kinds are popular.
In Kyoto, there are several traditional confectioneries that produceyatsuhashi, but today we’ll highlight just one: Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi. The main store (that’s the honke part) is located in Sakyo-ku, the northeastern part of the city.
While Nishio changes its flavors every season, in keeping with Japanese tradition—as to be expected of a store with over three hundred years of history—it approaches this time-honored dessert in new ways, too.
These are nama yatsuhashi. They are the standard flavor nikki(cinnamon). Here you can see the an filling through the dough. The fragrant cinnamon is a household flavor.
Besides nikki, you can try peach, mango, black sesame, ramune (an old-fashioned soda and candy), and many other flavors of yatsuhashi. They’re a hit with people of all ages and a fun twist on the traditional gift. But ramune yatsuhashi?We think that sounds pretty, well,…interesting, we’ll say.
These are the baked variety of yatsuhashi. These, too, have a great nikki smell and a sophisticated taste. It is said they are made in the shape of the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument.
Nishio has many branches across Kyoto. The store we focused on today is the main branch near Marutamachi Street. You’ll know it by the tanuki mascot waiting to greet you at the door :)