12/12/07

"Special Hand Made Taste"


I have the best next door neighbor ever! Reiko is from Japan and get this: she use to own a sushi restaurant and she HATES fish! Those kinds of things about people amuse me to no end. She brought me and my family a little Christmas gift. A box of sponge cakes from Japan. How freaking cool is that? They were called Saison de Boan from the Tenkei Company. There were three flavors of cakes, six of each, pecan- walnut, orange, and chocolate. Reiko was afraid the cakes would be dry or we wouldn't like them." Oh no, not our family!" I told her. "First of all, it was from Japan and second of all, it was food and third, she thought enough of us to bring us a gift." I told her thank you so much and probably committed a huge faux pas by giving her a hug.

The cakes were really good and not dry at all. I'm not sure if I can describe the taste other than they were not overly sweet as a lot of American cakes are. The chocolate cake had a strong taste of chocolate liqueur and was very moist. The orange cake was a very bright orange- yellow with a very delicate taste of orange and a beautiful scent and the nut cake was, well, nutty. It was a light brown in color with chopped up nuts. Imagine banana bread with walnuts... now take out the banana taste.

The packaging is the best part. It was wrapped in pink and yellow paper and the box said this "Shinshu, a resort surrounded by bright green and fresh air. Gardens with many-colored flowers, birds singing sweet, insects flying around busily---everyone makes up beautiful seasons in mountains, forests and plateaus. Confectioneries made by "Tenkei" that have grown in the refreshing nature of Shinshu, are, of course, a 100 percent natural. Every morsel gives us the feeling of clear air and wind in Shinshu. We want you to taste this present from the beautiful seasons in Shinshu." Also on the box were two other quotes " Special Hand Made Taste" and " Tenkei Confectionery, always creates constant palatable products all through 365 days."

It sounds organic without the package screaming "100% Natural & Organic!" Could you imagine if American packaging was written like that? I think the world would be a better place.
If anybody knows of a traditional gift I can give to her to show my respect, please let me know.