We have never tried sweets with meat before…
Our Japanese-speaking reporter, Mr. Sato, who is also one of our many food reporters, is a big fan that in recent years it has become much easier to find authentic Chinese food in Tokyo. With the import of popular mainland and Hong Kong restaurant chains like TanJai SamGor and a wider variety of authentic dishes now available in the city, Mr Sato now has so many options he could eat Chinese food. every day for weeks and have even more choices.
That’s why he was delighted to discover a place called NANATEA & Tsutsumi, a confectionery selling many different desserts inspired by Chinese flavors. Although he has another branch in Tokyo’s Aoyama district, the store he visited is located at Ikebukuro and was called the NANATEA & Tsutsumi Ikebukuro factory, because it was attached to a production warehouse.
There, Mr. Sato found something he had never seen before: a candy made from pork floss. “Huh? Does that mean this candy is made with Meat?!” Mr. Sato wondered.
Perplexed, he quickly researched what hog tang is and discovered that it was made of meat gently simmered in a pressure cooker, then mashed and roasted until it formed into a fibrous form and fluffy. It’s a bit like sinceor fish floss, which is made from fish and is a popular ingredient in chirashizushi. In other words, it is a form of processed meat.
To use it in a candy…Mr. Sato couldn’t even imagine how it tasted. The shop sold a lot of different things beyond hog tang candies, including financiers, cookies, cakes, and tiramisu, so Mr. Sato assumed they knew about desserts. If they made a candy with pork, it must be good, right?!
It turned out that the shop sold out three different kinds of pork floss candiesso he bought one of each to try, plus a meatless candy for good measure.
The first item he tried was the Mochi Tsutsumi Pork Bristle Cake (300 yen [US$2.27]). The fuzzy, delicate texture of this cake you see here was provided by the hog bristle.
It consisted of a slice of milk mochi sandwiched between two thin cakes, which were then covered in pork yarn. A taste test revealed that the pork floss was super salty and the mochi was super sweet. With each bite and each chew, the flavor shifted between sweet and salty; they never mixed, only fought for dominance over his tongue. Mr. Sato couldn’t decide what he was tasting. His tongue and his brain were confused.
Then he tried the Pork Bristle Roll Cake (350 yen). It was a roll cake with cut sides that looked like they had been dipped in hog bristle.
Between the cake rolls, where the frosting would normally be, was a kind of sauce that looked a bit like mayonnaise, which gave the cake a kind of acidity. With the outside sprinkled with green onions, the whole concoction had a very complex blend of flavors that continued to confuse Mr. Sato’s senses.
The last of the hog floss candies was the Silk Negi Tsutsumi Pie-fuu Yaki (250 yen), which roughly translates to “Tutsumi’s pie-style baked candy with pork tang and green onions”. It looked a lot simpler, so Mr. Sato hoped his taste buds could handle it.
This one was really good! The crispy pie crust was filled with pork bristle and green onions, which had a slight saltiness to it that really brought out the sweetness of the pie crust. Mr. Sato devoured this one with relief.
Finally, Mr. Sato tried the Ran’ou Pie Tsutsumi (300 yen). This one did not contain pig wire, but it did contain a duck egg yolk and red bean paste.
It was so good it could be addictive. The salt-preserved duck egg yolk was fermented in Shaoxing wine, so it was quite salty. Put together with red bean paste, it made a dish you might not find in Japanese cuisine. Mr. Sato liked it, although he thought it was better suited as a snack to drink than a candy or dessert.
In the end, all of the desserts Mr. Sato tried from NANATEA & Tsutsumi were unique and intriguing, surpassing even the originality of the next-level fruit daifuku he tried last month. If you want to try them, you don’t have to be in Tokyo either; the Pork Floss Roll Cake, at least, can be ordered online through Rakuten and shipped nationwide. If you are interested, do not hesitate to taste it!
NANATEA & Tsutsumi Ikebukuro Factory Branch / NANATEA & Tsutsumi 池袋ファクトリー店
Address: Tokyo-to Toshima-ku Nishi-Ikebukuro 3-32-5 Rikkyo Street Square 1F
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed for New Years
Images © SoraNews24
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