Thursday, March 25, 2004



Attentive readers of these chronicles of irregular quality will have noted here and there postings of varyingly sour degree relating to Japanese desserts, as they are called, despite their obvious disparity from the Western conception of that term. There are many Westerners here in Japan who, though they can't talk at the moment because they have something neither here nor there in their mouths, would argue that in terms of flavorsavor, traditional Japanese desserts are definitely from, shall we be circumspect, elsewhere on the planet.

In defense of traditional Japanese desserts I must say that at this point in the discussion I usually stand there quietly kicking my shoe in the dirt and studying the distant horizon, because as long as I've been in Japan, I've been unable to come up with more than a mere trifle of an argument in defense of anko and its myriad manifestations. Who could like yokan, for instance, who was not born here? And even then? Take a large containerful or so of agar, add three large containerfuls or so of sugar and two large containerfuls or so of adzuki bean flour, let it set for a while and there you are. Why you are there, however, beats me.

As the facts plainly indicate, the Japanodessert plaintiffs lining up around the block to get into this moot court do have a point, and since those individuals have been rendered temporarily inarticulate perhaps because they just got dumbsided by a chunk of yokan they thought was some kind of chocolate fudge, or a jelly donut that was in fact filled with adzuki bean paste, I will serve as their spokesman pro tem; they can take over whenever they recover; it varies.

Let this brief puffery be the shot across the bow of the Good Ship Amanatto.

And for dessert, there's beans...

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