Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Mangoro's sweets review

I'm just done with my posts about my last Nobunaga Tour but there is still some room for a new post and a new category of the blog, one dedicated to "snacks and food" based or inspired on Nobunaga and his life.
I already mentioned the delicious Yumikake Sakura of Mochinobu shop in my short walk in Gifu, but I guessed that my visit to Mangoro, a shop of omiyage and snacks located in Azuchi, deserved a mention too, if not an article.

I was really curious about the culinary masterpieces of this shop, so on a dark afternoon after visiting Amanohashidate, I opted for a detour to Azuchi to get hold of the delicacies.

Here is the booty for the day that I'm going to review right now:
From left to right: the Makezo no Tsuba ("The Tsuba of Invincibility"), the Azuchi-Momoyama and the Nobunaga-gun Pie ("The Pie of Nobunaga's Army").

The "Tsuba of Invincibility" refers to a legend about the Battle of Okehazama and how Nobunaga got to use the Eiroku coins as a decoration for both his banners the tsuba of his favourite sword.
The "Nobunaga Army" of the third pastry refers to the sumo wrestlers that he used to employ as an entertainment in his tournaments of Azuchi Castle.

If you got to know me well enough, by now you shpuld know that I'm not a fan of Japanese sweets, so probably this review may result as a bit unprecise-- Sorry in advance.
The Makezo no Tsuba is an interesting experiment. The filling is composed by two different jams, one of the usual red beans, and the other by another kind of sweet beans, but white in colour. I think that honey was added to the white beans paste, but I'm not sure.
The "container" has the consistency and feel of a wafer, but it's generally even more insipid. The contrast between the crispy outside and the dense and soft inside is very interesting.

The Azuchi-Momoyama was the pastry with the best look, but the flavour left me quite perplexed.
Again, the filling is mere red azuki paste, but the dough feels Western in its preparation. Among the ingredients I spotted egg yolk and glutinous floor, and that's probably its result.
The feel in your mouth when munching is quite doughy and dry.... It doesn't go down easily and it's far from pleasant.

Surprisingly, I'd say that my favourite is the Nobunaga-gun Pie: probably it's just because it's a shortcrust, so my Western tastes recognized something like a proper pastry, but even the filling was definitely better, flavoury and pleasant in the mouth. The ingredients specify that the filling is made with azuki from Hokkaido, probably it made the difference?

These aren't the only "Nobunaga-inspired" sweets of Mangoro shops, there is also the Sengoku Tenka Mochi, inspired to the deeds of the three unifiers of Japan and their "mochicious" Realm...

Saturday, 15 November 2014

NOBUNAGA TOUR 2014 (pt.III) - Gifu

Nobunaga and Ranmaru as kiku-ningyo in Gifu Park.

And the last report is finally here.
A trip that started from Nagoya returned back to Nagoya, for a final trip to Gifu.

Thank you for your attention.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

NOBUNAGA TOUR 2014 (pt.II) - Kyoto (and Ise∼)

I'm about to pass out, but here's the post about the "Nobunaga places" in Kyoto that I managed to visit during my last trip to Japan.
Nobunaga performing during the Jidai Matsuri ^^

--This time very little words 'cause I'm really sick about writing XD
Here are the links from my website for a quick check:


Funaoka Matsuri
Jidai Matsuri

Ise Azuchi-Momoyama Bunkamura (Azuchi Castle) →
Shinchou Saryou

Please, enjoy ^_^

Thursday, 6 November 2014

NOBUNAGA TOUR 2014 (pt.I): Nagoya, Tsushima, Shobata

As you may know by now, I recently faced a huge two-weeks tour all around Japan by myself: I profitted to visit more places related to Nobunaga, took part in various matsuri dedicated (more or less!) to his figure and enjoy myself.
It's been a fun adventure and I loved how much I managed to learn and discover during this trip.
Here is a shot of the Nobunaga performing during this year's Nagoya Matsuri ^^

So, as you may expect, I already started to write the reports concerning my trip on my website.
You can go there to read about the Jaike Jinja, the Ryounji, the ruins of Nagono Castle and Nagono Jinja for what concerns the city of Nagoya, then Tsushima, with its Tsushima Jinja and the Tennoukawa park, places related to Nobunaga's youthful days, and the cities of Inazawa and Aisai, on the traces of Nobunaga's birthplace, Shobata Castle.

On the same page you can find reports on the Nagoya Matsuri of this year, and also the Mochitsuki of Banshoji of October, plus a page with some pictures of the Yana Bus, the city bus of Gifu sponsored by Nouhime.

Here are the direct links to every article:
Nagoya →
Tsushima and Shobata →

Nagoya Matsuri →
Mochitsuki at Banshoji →
Yana Bus →

This is only the first part of my Nobunaga Tour, please, read and enjoy as I work on the second part, focused on Kyoto, second stage of my tour ^_^