Bebe Taian: 葉落ち月: Month of Falling Leaves

September 16, 2012

葉落ち月: Month of Falling Leaves

Haochizuki, shortened in modern language to Hazuki, is the Month of Falling Leaves. The heat is finally subsiding (or at least, it normally would- not this year, apparently), and leaves are starting to turn and fall.

Momiji Manju - Ilya Genkin
My local Asian grocery used to carry a delicious bean paste doughnut called Momiji Manju, but NO ONE AROUND HERE has it anymore! x.x So many Asian grocers, and what happens? All Korean, Vietnamese, or Chinese. Oy. Extremely limited selection of Japanese items, mostly limited to rice, teriyaki sauce, and a few candies. No help at all! Fortunately, some wonderful blogger out there photographed the beautiful doughnuts I've come to adore so much.

As it turns out, Momiji Manju are a specialty food of the Miyajima area- the same Miyajima famous for it's "floating" torii and shrines. There's even a class for tourists to learn to make our own manju! Oh, how I was fascinated by the steel moulds I saw being used in Asakusa to make these. How did the doughnuts not stick? How do they bake the filling right in, not pipe it? It isn't the same texture as the 'pancake' kind of doughnut you can get here. Not the same at all! In fact, I find the pancake kind to be too sticky, too overly sweet, and too... 'wet', almost soggy, to be enjoyed. Momiji manju are just so perfect!

Oh, manju, how I miss you! One day, I will go back to Asakusa, and I will buy a thousand of you. In kimono. And I will become very fat and happy forever! ... or at least, until I follow it up with unadon and tamagoyaki. Really, the Japanese have the BEST foods. Try them as often as possible!

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