Dec 18,2016 A must read for lovers of Japanese sweets and Japanese food!! Highlighting Uji Matcha
Hello, I’m Sho, an exchange student from China who loves Japan even more than I love pandas. I have a serious weakness for sweet food and since coming to Japan I’ve gained 15 kilograms! In spite of this I just cannot give up Japanese wagashi sweets and I eat them every day. Out of the countless varieties of wagashi that exist I highly recommend sweets made with matcha from the city of Uji, Kyoto. Today I want to tell you about Uji matcha and my favorite matcha desserts.
First off, let’s explain matcha. Matcha is a type of green tea. Apart from its main use as a drink matcha is also used widely in Japanese and western sweets and appears as an ingredient in many other dishes. The city of Uji in Kyoto prefecture is famous for its production of quality matcha.
Soft Serve Matcha Ice Cream
There are many shops along the main shopping street of Uji where you can buy matcha ice cream. On its own matcha powder is bitter but when sprinkled onto ice cream creates a perfect balance with the sweet flavor of the cream. Matcha this aromatic can only be found in Uji.
Matcha jelly is another commonly found matcha sweet. The flavor varies from store to store but all varieties are soft and smooth and the way they cool your throat on the way down just can’t be beat.
Matcha jelly is often paired with other Japanese sweets and it may be fun to search out your favorite combination. This jelly pictured here is matched with shiratama (rice flour dumplings) and sweet azuki beans. I enjoyed getting to eat a number of different sweets together in one dish.
After having so many sweets perhaps you’d like a change of pace? Soba noodles of course are not a dessert but a historic staple of Japanese cuisine. Mix matcha into the dough and you really couldn’t have a more Japanese meal. Soba is also low in calories so if that is a concern for you matcha soba is what I recommend.
Below are some photos of more matcha sweets. I hope you have a chance to visit Uji and find your favorite.
There are still many other matcha sweets available in Uji city. If you have an interest in matcha, head to Uji!
■ Access to Uji
From Kyoto Station take the JR Nara Line to Uji Station. The rapid train bound for Nara will get you there in about 17 minutes. (No need to change trains.)
From Sanjo Station take the Keihan Line headed south to Chushojima Station and transfer to the Keihan Uji Line to the final stop at Uji Station. The trip will take approximately 30 minutes.