Due to the Shinto religion, the Japanese enjoy a deeply animist spirit and devote an important cult to Nature. In traditional gastronomy, this respect is pushed to adapt the food according to the current season and therefore naturally available products. A constraint which is not for all that an obstacle to creativity, as these “fireworks” super-wagashi testify. A feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

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Summer is matsuri season in Japan. And who says summer matsuri says fireworks, “Hanabi” in Japanese, or “flower of fire” (always this relation to Nature…). And to symbolize this essential element of summer, Hiroyuki sanno, a genius pastry chef specializing in wagashi (traditional pastries) had the idea of design multicolored “nerikiri” (mochi mixed with white bean paste). A visual explosion of colors that does not sacrifice taste, because if the appearance is resolutely modern, nerikiri is well prepared according to strict traditional rules.

To achieve this visual feat called yohanabi (evening fireworks), the pastry chef has covered the colored nerikiri with a thin layer of almost transparent paste to “filter” the colors and give them that pastel aspect. A layer so thin that it is undetectable to our eyes. How not to admire the skill of the pastry chef capable of so much thoroughness! Each piece thus becomes a real small work of art. Ideal for Japanese people who eat as much with the palate as with their eyes.

Source: twitter

And this is obviously not the first sublime creation of Hiroyuki sanno. Already at the end of June, to celebrate the end of the rains, he had made a wagashi subtly tinted with a rainbow:

Source: twitter

The Tanabata feast during which the Japanese decorate bamboo with rectangles of paper also had its wagashi with breathtaking details:

Source: twitter

Remember that all this is only a few centimeters. Poulpy had never seen such a detailed “lotus flower” wagashi! :

Source: twitter

What could be more evocative in autumn than an orange maple leaf?

Credit: Instagram

May 5 is the boys’ day for which the Japanese hang carp-shaped banners (symbol of perseverance). Here is the wagashi version:

Source: twitter

Flower very popular with the Japanese, the hydrangea in the spotlight in this other wagashi. Each cube is barely a few millimeters …

Source: twitter

And what could be more appropriate than a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day?

Source: twitter

And we end with our favorite: the traditional pattern of the cherry blossom (sakura) revisited by the simple evocation of a petal falling into the water where it causes ripples.

There is no doubt, Hiroyuki sanno has brought the art of culinary refinement to a very high level. To continue to admire his future creations, follow his account twitter or instagram!

S. Barret


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