|Mochi on a stick! A classic in perfect colors for hanami (blossom viewing) and Girl's Day.|
|Smooth white and red bean in little cake-like dumplings. The little blossom pressed on top is a bit salty and perfumey--I know that sounds like coming home from a night out clubbing, but it's not. I promise.|
A birthday shout-out to Ultra-Aimee, by the way! She visited Tokyo during the cherry blossom season and went on what I can only call a mochi bender. Way to turn those wheat allergy lemons into rice dumpling lemonade! You know, in the fat-free-obsessed 90's, you could eat all this stuff without guilt, but this recent wave of carbo-panic has added a dimension of naughtiness that I for one am really enjoying.
Both of these are filled with a smooth, red bean paste. The cherry leaf is preserved with salt, and it has a bit of a tang, as well as that fresh-cut-flower-stem fragrance. I know, I know. The salt sounds wrong. But you love a sea salt caramel, right? Once you get over the fear of weird, it is absolutely the taste of spring.