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#27 食の美学:会席料理と和菓子の魅力







Thisi is a HOSHINOYA MADE IN JAPAN Radio. episode 27, "The Art of Dining: Exploring the Elegance of Kaiseki Cuisine and Wagashi".

Kaiseki ryori is a highly refined style of traditional Japanese cuisine. It is served in fine Japanese inns and restaurants. The full-course meal is served in several stages. Each comes on a separate dish, with great attention given to appearance. There is a basic order. First there are appetizers, sashimi (sliced raw fish), suimono (clear soup), yakimono (grilled fish), mushimono (steamed food), nimono (simmered dishes) and some kind of aemono (cooked vegetables). Saké (nihonshu) may be served throughout this portion of the meal. The meal concludes with miso soup, tsukemono (Japanese-style pickles), and rice. At the very end there may be a Japanese sweet or some kind of fruit and green tea.

Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections. They have distinctive ingredients. The main ingredient is an, a sweet paste made of beans, sugar and water. No dairy products or vegetable oils are used. No artificial flavors are added. No natural flavors are used if they have a strong aroma. Key characteristics of wagashi are their shapes, colors and names. Some wagashi are available throughout the year, but many are intended for a brief season only. They reflect the change of the seasons. For this reason, wagashi have long been a part of the formal tea ceremony.