Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi

Wagashi: Early Summer Biwa (Loquat) Namagashi 枇杷 (びわ) 生菓子

Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi 枇杷(びわ)生菓子

As early summer becomes midsummer, the days muggy and the nights no longer cool, the loquat, or biwa in Japanese, is a common sight in Kyoto; both in discount supermarkets and fine fruit boutiques and on the streets and sidewalks, fallen from large leafed trees overhanging a walled garden — and in the namagashi case at one fine wagashi store.

Thematically, wagashi for the tea ceremony, namagashi, is inseparable from the season and this delicate biwa wagashi is painstakingly crafted to be both a near match to the actual fruit and have its own confectionary identity.

Biwa Namagashi and Biwa Fruit
Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi 枇杷(びわ)生菓子

Biwa Namagashi – detail
Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi 枇杷(びわ)生菓子

Biwa Fruit – detail
Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi 枇杷(びわ)生菓子

Biwa and Namagashi
Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi 枇杷(びわ)生菓子

Note: As the loquat is a rare fruit in the regions of many of our readers, for comparison, we photographed this namagashi with biwa fruit; however, namagashi are meant to be eaten with maccha, not fruit.

3 Responses to “Wagashi: Early Summer Loquat (Biwa) Namagashi”

  1. kat says:

    amazing! it does look like the real fruit!

  2. Wow…it really does look like the fruit. Does the copy have a mochi-like texture?

  3. Peko Peko says:

    Hi kat, Yes, amazing what the wagashi makers can do with some mochi!

    Hello AppetiteforChina, Yes, it is mochi-like, rather than slightly fuzzy like the fruit — thankfully! Fuzzy wagashi would be a travesty, I think!

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