Taiyaki, a popular snack at festivals
Credit: [cipher], Flickr
Taiyaki cooking in their fish-shaped moods
Credit: Takanori Nakanowatari, Flickr
How do you eat your taiyaki? It can reveal your personality!
Credit: Michael Ocampo, Flickr
The snack with a festive flavor
For the Japanese, this fish-shaped cake, filled with sweet red bean paste, evokes the festivals and fairy-tales of their childhood.
Taiyaki (literally "grilled sea bream" - seabream is supposed to bring happiness), is a small waffle-like cake filled with a sweet filling.
A simple recipe
A batter is poured into the two parts of a fish-shaped mold and then a filling is added to one side. Once the mold is closed withe the filling inside, the cake is cooked on both sides until it's golden brown and crisp. Traditionally, taiyaki are filled with anko, azuki red bean paste, but over time, custard, chocolate, or more recently, cheese or even meat has been added. The basic recipe is inspired by the imagawayaki, a Japanese delicacy that dates back to the 18th century.
The taiyaki is one of the must-have snacks sold at matsuri (traditional festivals) and always attract many customers. Young and old alike love its warm and crispy pancake-cake dough with a sweet filling that melts in the mouth.
Although sold most often during festivals, taiyaki were invented in 1909 in a candy store called "Naniwaya", in the Azabu district of Tokyo. The store still exists, and has sold more than 10 million taiyaki since its creation!
They can also be found in supermarkets or konbini. There are even taiyaki molds available to buy, so you can make them yourself at home.
A personality test!
For the Japanese, the way you eat this snack is important! They like to believe that how you start eating your taiyaki reveals your personality. Do you start with the head? You're an optimistic and rather serene, but sometimes aggressive person. Would you rather start eating from the tail? You are calm, romantic, but a little naive. Or perhaps neither tail nor head - do you bite into it from the side? This means that you're energetic, athletic and friendly.
So now you're warned, be careful when biting into your taiyaki!