Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hokkaido Fair: Eat till you drop!

Among all the regional food fairs are held all over Japan, Hokkaido fair is one of the most popular and frequent food fair. There are definitely a larger number of souvenir brands and famous food stalls at the local fairs than in fairs held outside Japan. While the exhibitors are largely the same, it is still possible to find new and seasonal edition items every time. 

ISHIYA (Shiroi Koibito, etc...)

One of the brands I check out is Shiroi Koibito, though not for its famous white chocolate langue De chats. It's parent company has actually more than 10 other sub brands selling popular sweets such as White Baumkuchen and Candied Chocolate Bars. The Shiroi Koibito Parfait is one perfect chance to try a bit of everything because it contained the Shiroi Koibito cookie, Tsumugi white Baumkuchen slices, Miyuki Millefeuille and of course the irresistible sweet and creamy milk soft serve mixed with tangy raspberry sauce.

There is also a long shiroi koibito white roll cake but I ended up with the Hokkaido Melon Roll for its rarer to find roll cakes in this flavour. Amazing soft texture, but so delicate and soft that it is difficult to slice it properly at aircon temperature. Plus, it does not taste artificially sweet.
LeTao is another regular shop that is renowned for its luscious cheesecake. During Spring, they have the special matcha double cheesecake called The Vert. I also enjoyed the smooth bitterness of the matcha and Darjeeling chocolates shaped like mini pyramids. Surprisingly, it also stocks up some tasty Langue De Chats that has won the Gold award of Monde Selection. The Fromage belongs more to the savoury camp and the cheese filling in the centre is in golden proportion to the buttery round cookies. The Sweet Chocolate is not sweet but rather dull in comparison to the Fromage.ROYCE
And of course there is Royce and its ubiquitous Nama chocolates. But one should skip that and head for its Salted Caramel Macarons. Sold in 3 per box (680 yen), each macaron is slightly drier and chewier than freshly made ones but it doesn't matter because the butterscotch-like salted caramel ganache has made a lasting impact. Another limited edition item: Chocolate Almond Tablette with SALT!! In conjunction with Royce's 30th anniversary, Royce has also come up with a box of assorted Chocolate Wafers that contain 5 flavours (Chocolate, Strawberry, Citrus, Tiramisu and Matcha) . All very delish.
I still can't comprehend the popularity of Baumkuchen but the locals love it, especially this Sanpouroku by Ryugetsu. But i must say this was one of the best baumkuchen I've had. Made with Hokkaido butter and flour, it was tenderly soft and not too dry. The winter flavour was Maple and for spring, it's matcha. Regular flavors are Plain and Chocolate. I usually go for those individual packaged sweets as I would be bored having to take at least one month to finish the entire Baumkuchen by myself. Ryugetsu has some interesting sweets sold in single package. 
The Bonne is a rich chocolate butter cake spiked with Grand Marnier and double coated in white and milk chocolate. The custard cream is supposed to flow but it did not. Instead of the Bonne, the Milk Manju was more palatable. It's a typical Wagashi filled with white bean paste, but less cloyingly sweet because of the blend of milk. Soft, creamy and fragrant.

Tokachi Tottepo Factory
It's hard to find fault with any of the puddings, bottled milk or yoghurt from Hokkado. This can be the BEST PUDDING in my life (even better than matcha pudding). Salted Caramel Pudding
Last but not least, this mochi-like cheesecake cubes is my most prized finding from the Hokkaido fair. Named "Moti-moti", the texture is beyond words could describe as it was my first encounter with this delicious invention. Each bite was unyieldingly soft and creamy despite the chilly temperature. Both Matcha and Tiramisu flavours were excellent. 

The end?? Not quite yet
Stay tune for the spring/summer edition of Hokkaido food posts......

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