Archive for April, 2009

A Few Kyoto Sweets – Kasagi-Ya & Kagizen Yoshifusa

Kyoto might be most famous for kaiseki in culinary circles but the diminutive wagashi and namagashi, Japanese confections, might best tell the story of the entire city, rather than just the privileged upper classes. The candies themselves take on the same symbolic importance as any dish from a kaiseki meal – color and shape make reference to history, season, and legend1 – living poetry. Their quality ranges from fresh hand-made (“nama” translates to raw) to industrial production, the latter seemingly more prevalent in the simulacras2 of Kyoto.3 It is this mix of old and new, estuaries of old traditions and new practicalities that seem to define the character of the city.

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