Adorable and Tasty! Top 5 Much-Loved Souvenirs From Fukuoka
At the end of a journey or business trip, you might get a little lost when choosing what souvenirs to take home. This gets worse if you happen to be in Fukuoka – the town for gourmet dishes – as expectations would run high. To solve that, here are some of the top souvenirs in Fukuoka that both locals and tourists love!
Niwaka Senpei Honpo Toundo, a brand that has grown in popularity thanks to its original products that are tied to famous characters, has just released a new product that will surely delight fans! The I’m Doraemon Niwaka Senpei, which debuted in the market in April 2017, is a senbei (rice cracker) that is inspired by the nationally famous character Doraemon. Any recipient will definitely enjoy this cute senbei, along with the brand’s original Niwaka senbei. This premium Doraemon senbei is a true entertainer, as it can be pretty fun to look at, play with, and eat! Wear it as mask and anybody could transform into the adorable Doraemon! It can be a great souvenir to give to households with kids as well. Its cuteness that made it a trending topic on social media is not only apparent through the adorable Doraemon face on the senbei, but also through its cute retro packaging that is reminiscent of the Showa era. Note that this senbei is also sold online, so fans of Doraemon should definitely check it out!
Niwaka Senpei Honpo Toundo
The Ichigo (Strawberry) Fondant Fromage (1,728 JPY) is the sister product of the store’s No.1 bestseller, Fondant Fromage. You won’t be able to resist the taste of the melt-in-your-mouth custard cream, which uses Hakata Amao strawberries that are only grown in Fukuoka, inside the fluffy soufflé cheesecake. With the richness of the strawberry custard cream, all you have to do is pour the accompanying Hakata Amao strawberry sauce to enjoy a fruity and refreshing taste! Its adorable appearance and that special feeling that comes with these Hakata Amao strawberries is bound to make anyone who gets it very happy. If you buy it online, you can get the Fuwatoro Sweet Set (3,456 JPY plus shipping) that will let you taste and compare the Ichigo Fondant Fromage with the Fondant Fromage – two famous sweets that both have soft, fluffy textures and melt-in-your-mouth goodness!
The Hakata Gyokuro Manju (steamed bun with green tea filling) (starts from 1,080 JPY for 6 pieces, up to 3,240 JPY for 18 pieces) boasts a high degree of popularity next to the Hakata Torimon (steamed bun with sweet bean paste filling). This treat is filled with yamecha, a kind of tea unique to Fukuoka that has a rich and distinct sweetness and only a hint of bitterness. The yamecha in this manju is painstakingly grown in its birthplace, the nature-rich Kurogi-machi, Oku-yame area. Together with the yamecha, a generous amount of gyokuro (high-quality green tea leaf paste) is also incorporated into the bean paste, making it a truly luxurious confectionery. Fresh cream is added to the gyokuro to make it tastier, and then the filling is wrapped in matcha dough to achieve an exquisite balance. Take a bite and your mouth will be flooded with the refreshing taste of tea and the delicate sweetness of the bean paste mixed with fresh cream. It is an excellent partner to green tea, as well as black tea and coffee.
Out of all the cakes sold in this shop, the Hakata no Ishidatami (1,836 JPY for large, 432 JPY for small) that is filled with chocolate is the most popular. This cake has five layers, including chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream. Its surface is coated with a thin layer of chocolate and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. Its delicate and modest appearance make it an extremely beautiful sweet that just grabs your attention. The shop apparently got its name from the cobblestone pavement (“ishidatami” in Japanese) that its owner saw in front of Hakata Station when he was young. Contrary to its heavy appearance and name, though, its moist dough, fluffy mousse and melty whipped cream give it quite a light taste. It is a cake that will let you enjoy the taste of good melt-in-your-mouth chocolate!
Hakata Potato (starts from 562 JPY for 4 pieces, up to 2,916 JPY for 20 pieces) is a sweet delicacy that is filled with the delicious flavor of baked sweet potatoes and has a soft, flaky texture. It is an exquisite treat that takes a lot of time and effort to make. The potatoes are slow-baked, mashed and mixed with whip cream until they become a paste, and then baked again. Its mellow, smooth texture – different from a standard sweet potato – strengthens its flavor even more. The simple flavor and natural sweetness make it a perfect snack for children. Its sister product, the Hakata Murasaki-imo Potato (purple-fleshed sweet potato) (sets that are made up of both dishes start from 865 JPY for 6 pieces, up to 2,916 JPY for 20 pieces), is also gaining popularity. You can eat this confectionery as it is, but you might want to pop it in the toaster or microwave oven first so you can eat it hot!
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 08.04.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.