Festive fermented sweets magically born in Kawasaki Taishi
From Kawasaki, the town adjacent to the southwestern border of Tokyo that flourished around the shrine named Kawasaki Taishi to Katsushika located in the northeastern end of Tokyo, a unique type of kuzumochi found its place as one of the most culturally established sweets of this locality. The reason why this version is considered unique is because kuzumochi is actually more widely known as a product of Kansai (region around Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe) rather than of Kanto (region around Tokyo and prefectures in the east and north of Tokyo). While kuzumochi of Kansai is made from arrowroot flour called kuzu flour, kuzumochi of Kanto is made from flour soaked in water for a long time during which the flour is fermented by lactic acid bacteria that produce extractable starch. The extracted starch is washed in water for a number of times until the sour fermentation odor disappears. Then, it is steamed until the color turns white and the texture becomes elastic. It is said that the Kanto version of kuzumochi was born from a sheer accident. The legend says that there was once a flood that devastated the area, including the storages that had piles of flour stocked, which got all soaked in rainwater. The wet flour eventually deformed and produced tasty starch through natural fermentation and ended up becoming the source of this magical confectionery.
どう作って食べるか / HOW TO MAKE & EAT
❶Leave the flour soaked in water for about a year to ferment.
❷Take out the starch that had settled at the bottom of the container, wash it several times with water until the sour fermentation odor disappears.
❸Steam the starch paste until it turns white and fluffy. Add brown sugar syrup and roasted soybean flour on top.
★The taste can be arranged to become strong or mild, depending on the length of fermentation and the method applied for starch washing.
As a snack
▶食べられている地域 / Regions where it is eaten
From around Kawasaki Taishi in Kanagawa Prefecture to around Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
▶微生物の種類 / Types of microorganisms
Lactic acid bacteria and various other types of bacteria