Sweet Beans, Favor or Against?

2017-01-03 19:04:23 | 日記
03/01/2017 (evening) I ate a Chinise sweet moon cake (月餅)as a dessert for supper. This one is made by Nakamuraya, an old confectionary in Shinjuku. There was a paste of various nuts inside, and I liked it! It recalled me a Christmas Pudding in British Style. Lard is used for it with lots of dried fruits and nuts, like as a this Chinese cake.

In Japan, there is no tradition to use animal fat for sweets. Butter is an exeption. Since Westernization of Meiji era, we have been accustomed to the delicious dairy food.

Lard is usually excluded for sweets in Japan, maybe because of its strong fatty flavour.

The taste of these cakes also resembles French "gateau de roi", a cake especially for the day of procession of 3 kings or "magis", on 6th. of January. These kings provide Christmas gifts for kids. They are equivalent to Saint Claus as their role.

The Chinese cake is filled with sweet bean paste. In Japan, there are various types of traditional sweets made of sweet bean paste. They are delicious, I'm sure!

However, in Brazil, many of my friends, who have Japanese ancestors, disliked the paste, even they understood Japanese crinary and food culture. They said, unanimouslly, "Beans are for salty food, not for sweets, never!"

In Brazil, "feijao" beans are used in common and they are always salty. So, my Brazilian friends had a fixed image of taste on beans as salty ones.

The same thing happened me concerning rice pudding. When I got to know the recipe of it, I felt nasty, because for me, rice would be eaten with salty dishes, not an ingredient that combines with sugar and milk! "Terrible!", I thought.

However, once I tried to eat a rice pudding, I changed my mind. It was nice with cream, sugar and cimamon! I found that in this dish, rice played the role of cornstarch or egg, something like sticky.

I notice that wheat is eaten as an ingredient of salty bread and of a sweet. Wheat is neutral in this meaning. Rice is counterpart of wheat in East Asia. Rice would be neutral in the same sense.

Beans are also neutral, in this sense. However, people who are accustomed to salty ones, it's difficult to accept the sweet ones.

I think that "HIYOKO" is or its equivalent would open the door for sweet beans to the people who don't know the world of sweet bean paste. Its shape is pretty and attractive to kids. Probably they don't recognize that it's made of beans.

Doing is easier than imaging. In Japan, there is a proverb that says, "Childbirth is easier than worry about it". That's the metaphor of that "Just act! Don't worry!"

I understood the methaphorical meaning well. However, I didn't know that the proverb is literally correct.(See the article on Denial of Maternity Instinction)

Try it! If you open the door to accept sweet bean paste, your gourmand world would extend so much!

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