Thursday, June 21, 2007
This frozen confection from Sentan is a variation on on the shiratamai miruki uji kintoki (白玉ミルク宇治金時), a Kyoto specialty. In the original cafe version, shaved ice, served over a bed of sweetened azuki beans is doused with Uji tea and sweetened condensed milk. A couple of mochi balls are thrown in for fun. In this version, a mochi ice cream layer covers a macha ice. Azuki beans are liberally suspended in the crunchy ice. At the center is melty condensed milk. It all works together quite brilliantly. The creamy outer layer surrounds a beautifully textured and flavored tea ice - and then - surprise! Sweet milk oozing from the center. Yum! Uji is a famous tea area near Kyoto, perhaps now more famous for marketing tea, rather than producing it. Yet it is still considered the tea capital of Japan, hosting an annual tea festival on the first Sunday in October and boasting the oldest tea shop in Japan, perhaps the world - the Tsuen Tea Shop, founded in 1160.