Saturday, October 24, 2009

Japanese Wedding Favors

Another Japanese wedding tradition is that you can't send the guests home empty-handed. Every weekend, if you ride the subway or even go outside and walk down the street, you'll see large numbers of people dressed up in their finest, teetering on high heels and lugging giant bags emblazoned with the name of the hotel where the wedding took place. I joined their number after my friends' recent wedding. Here's what was inside the bag.

The picture at the top is in interesting east-meets-west combination: Japanese tea cakes made of bean paste and rice paste on the left, German baumkuchen on the right. Baumkuchen is another of those incredibly delicious confections that's taken on an iconic status in Japan (you can even get them in flavors like green tea, or coated with green tea flavored chocolate). It's made by adding layer after layer of batter to a spit that slowly turns and bakes the cake as the batter is added - I'm not sure exactly how it works, but there's a baumkuchen shop in Ginza that has the long cakes twirling on their spits in the window, and it's quite fascinating.
The picture just above is a box of cookies from the hotel where the reception was held. They are each individually wrapped. Why, Japan? Why?

The bag also contained some non-edible presents, like a beautiful lacquer tray and the square cedar sake cup we drank the first toast out of. But the final foodie treat was this package of big, crunchy senbei (rice crackers). They're unusually shaped, and are supposed to look like the little Shinto statues you see around shrines wearing red aprons. From left to right, they're nori, sugar, and soy sauce flavored. I love a good hard senbei that takes a little effort to bite, and these were perfect.

1 comment:

  1. These favors are indeed looking really delicious dear and I am glad that you took time to share it here as it is something completely new for me. This month, I am also getting married at best Seattle Wedding venues and such ideas are really going to help me a lot.