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The Beauty of Japanese Confections

Features Order of the Day

February 8, 2015

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

In addition to serving up delicious Japanese-style treats, Minamoto Kitchoan strives to share its confectionary works of art and culture with customers around the globe.

The dessert destination serves up hand-crafted wagashi, or sweets, which feature flavors and cultural accents within edible sculptures — it’s no wonder they are displayed and served out of glass showcases worthy of protecting fine jewelry. The assorted candies, cookies, mochi and cakes are composed of “sweet, natural goodness,” including the healthiest, freshest ingredients available. Multiple Japanese recipes incorporate red bean, powdered rice, sweet potatoes, plant proteins, sesame, sugar and close to zero animal fats.

Minamoto Kitchoan utilizes unrefined sugar, which is naturally sweet and composed of pure carbohydrates to add the perfect level of sweetness to the desired treats. Customers marveling at the beautiful, whimsical creations may choose from more traditional Japanese recipes, as well as Western-influenced desserts, which consist of everything from white and dark chocolate to green tea and fruit.

“We don’t only sell our products, we also educate customers about the Japanese culture and try to let the world know about Japanese wagashi,” says manager Yayoi Akana. “Our items are not too sweet — the different flavors are very important, and we offer unique recipes.”

Minamoto Kitchoan recently renovated its Ala Moana Center locale on the mall’s first level near center stage, while customers around the world also have experienced the unique sweet morsels offered in multiple locations, including London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Minamoto Kitchoan offers a host of beautiful, whimsical creations ideal for enjoying with friends and family, or sharing as gifts.

Customers rave about the newly introduced “RX Japonais” Chocolates ($3.50 each), which offer flavors including rich milk, dark and white chocolate notes, as well as caramel and even red wine accents. Confiture Chocolates ($3.50 each) feature rich flavors including fresh black currant, banana, lemon, passion fruit, mango and raspberry. Bon Bon Chocolates ($3.50 each) also are highly sought after, and include flavors such as apple rose, which includes rose extract from the king’s palace in Versailles, France, and fresh fruit from the king’s garden. Macha Senbei ($3.50 each, $14 for four) delights with green tea-flavored cookies with green tea filling. Also popular are Tsuya ($4.20 for one, $19 for five, $36 for 10 and $66 for 15), featuring sweet red bean paste sandwiched between mini pancakes.

Hawaiian Jelly ($5 each, specially-priced at $2.50 apiece) offer up fresh fruit juice-filled gelatin with pineapple or guava flavors. Grace Dew Fruit Jelly ($1 each, $20 for 24, $30 for 36 and $40 for 48) are very popular as gifts, and are packaged in beautiful, present-like settings.

The jellies contain all-natural ingredients and various fruit flavors, in addition to collagen to promote healthy skin and dietary fiber. “Once you taste what we have to offer, you’ll notice the difference right away,” Akana explains. “It’s like jewelry: You take the time to enjoy the colors, textures and beauty of each item.”

Minamoto Kitchoan

Ala Moana Center, Street Level One near Center Stage
1450 Ala Moana Blvd. Ste. 1110, Honolulu
947-0870
Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. 7 p.m.
Kitchoan.com

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