Pastry chefs from the Land of the Rising Sun in Florence

Junko Fukui san, has been living on the banks of the Arno for years, and she chairs the Firenze Magnifico Club, a cultural association that aims to spread the Japanese culture in Italy.

Junko’s latest initiative “DELICIOUS JAPANESE SWEETS” has allowed to appreciate, in the Limonaia of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, the original products of seven companies of traditional pastry.

The maestros Kazuo Iwaoka, for 50 years on the Japanese confectionery scene, and Kazuyuki Miura, a true artist in the process “of the pinching” of Namagashi chrysanthemums, have performed live during the three days in Florence; and the maestra of tea ceremony, Mitsuko Ohi, had no respite in serving matcha to the many who followed her measured gestures for the preparation and serving of the beverage.

Visitors learned that the Japanese sweets (Wagashi) differ in the percentage of moisture contained: less than 10% (Higashi) between 10 and 30 (Hannamagashi) and over 30 (Namagashi) and they are the result of the combination of sugar, starch syrup, rice, flour and azuki beans (rich in carbohydrates and amino acids and iron and potassium); and appreciated the care, like all Japanese artifacts, presentation and packaging of the products.

There was unanimous support for the extraordinary specimen – an impressive flower arrangement – of Kougeigash art that provides sugar sweets solely destined for contemplation and is the subject of an exhibition that is held every four years since 1911. The next one is scheduled in the city of Ise in the spring of 2017.

 The companies present were seven: Kanou Shoujuan, Tawaraya Yoshitomi, Ryoguchiya Korekiyo, Seigetsudou, Saiundo, Gokokuya and Tsuruya Hachiman. All have graciously offered generous tasting of their delicacies.

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