The other morning I was awakened by an earthquake, the first time in my life. If it was not Saturday, it would have been just in time to replace the alarm clock…
The earthquake was above 5 on the Richter scale, not so strong according to Japanese. If I was Italian, I could wave my hand away saying “è normale!”
As someone once said, everything happens when it happens for a reason. So, let’s enjoy the moment and…talk about desserts!
First I want to clarify that the focus is not on Japanese desserts, but desserts in Japan, and there is an enormous difference between the two. There are many articles about the various Japanese desserts (one link here), and in many cases they will be made from rice, sugar, green tea (matcha) or red bean paste.
When going to Japan for the first time, I did have an image that food will be mainly rice, sushi, miso soup, and various seaweed instead of the salad. I was morally prepared for a healthy diet, I may say, though it did not last long. First, the variety of restaurants and cuisines is enormous, but wait till you get to the lower floors of any big (and especially luxury) department store! The choice of desserts is phenomenal. At the end it is not about the ability to resist, rather you cannot understand why you should!
As a rule, most of the names will be French, and one Japanese colleague who spent a few years in Paris confessed that French type desserts in Japan are even better than in Paris.
If you have ever heard the term Kaizen, which essentially means continuous improvement, then you will understand how it is possible. Japanese are extremely good at taking something and improving it to perfection (inventing new things might be a more challenging task though).
So when during a French dinner party four Japanese ladies asked me about desserts in Paris, at stopped to think for a minute. Then, I did tell them about my favourite one (surprise, surprise, from Ladurée) and added one more item to my to-do list – to check out Ladurée in Tokyo and get first hand evidence about how the two compare. Don’t worry, I will tell you all about it, and in the meantime:
La vie est courte, prenez un dessert! 😉