The world has many kinds of chestnuts. Only four are grown as fruit trees, including the Japanese chestnut.
Among those chestnuts, Japanese chestnuts have large edible parts with a sweet and soft-fluffy texture like a sweet potato. Many traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi) use it as an ingredient. Yokan is a classic example of this.
Yokan is a wagashi mainly made of red bean paste mixed with agar jelly, usually sold in block form.
But the Yokan we’re introducing this time is quite special.
Fugetudou’s Manyokan uses Iinuma Kuri chestnut (Ibaraki Prefecture’s chestnut variety) lavishly with a price tag of JPY 10,000 (=around USD 87) per piece.
The name “Manyokan” comes from the combination of yokan and “Manyoushuu”, Japan’s oldest collection of Japanese waka (poetry in classical Japanese). In Manyoushuu, you will find mentions of chestnuts, indicating that they have been a part of people’s lives for nearly 1,300 years.
Most chestnuts have three fruits in each burr (the outer shell of chestnuts). However, Iinuma Kuri chestnuts grow under a different method so that each burr only has one fruit. This makes the size larger and sweeter.
The price is also higher because it takes more work and harvests less quantity.
Standard yokan made with steamed chestnuts is good to eat within about ten days. But Fugetudo manages to extend it to almost a month by adopting a unique vacuum pack.
Although it is not certified Halal, we confirmed that it has no alcohol or animal-based ingredients by checking with the manufacturer.
The crowdfunding campaign raised 471% of funds more than the goal. So many Japanese people are eager to try this expensive and high-quality chestnut yokan.
Once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, and you can travel to Japan, give it a try yourself!
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