A new type of wagashi
- taking traditional ingredients a step further
Gokokuya is a new type of wagashi* made from ancient grains and traditional, fermented seasonings such as soy sauce, mirin* and koji* that are unique to Japanese cuisine. We set out to explore traditional ingredients and ended up creating new and surprising Japanese sweets.
*wagashi: Japanese sweets, *mirin: a kind of sweet sake *koji: malted rice
Grains and FermentationGokokuya
Rediscovering traditional grains
Staples such as rise, bread and noodles all made from grains. Long ago, the Japanese diet relied on a more diverse range of grains, including millet, sorghum, buckwheat, sesame and a variety of beans. Collectively, there are known as gokoku and are rich in fibres and minerals. They are now making a comeback as the country rediscovers its own food traditions.
The power of fermentation
Fermentation has played a vital role in traditional Japanese food and drink. Soy sause, miso, sake, mirin, and vinegar start off as soybean and rice but are transformed by fermentation. The process turns sugars and proteins into pure goodness -resulting in flavors rich in umami, the now widely accepted fifth taste.
Handmade by artisans
Wagashi are artfully crafted. They reflect the changing seasons, the terroir and the culture of the region. As a patissier creates pastries and cakes, the shokunin(artisan) creates wagashi. The hand of shokunin are his most important tool. Ingredients are formed, cut, folded, and wrapped. Wagashi is made swiftly and precisely. There’s a natural rhythm to the process. The skills are learned over time, from repetition and the pursuit of perfection.