Lifestyle: The sweetest of Japan’s traditions
The skilfully shaped candy known as ‘Amezaiku’ delights all ages
(From Japan News/Yomiuri)
The sweet aroma filling the Tokyo candy shop Amezaiku Yoshihara provides an instant rush. The store sells about 100 kinds of amezaiku, each elaborately shaped into an animal or flower shape.
Amezaiku – the crafting of artistic confectionery – has enchanted people for centuries. Although the pieces have an attractive simplicity, they’re clearly made with exquisite skill. It’s a great experience watching the dextrous manufacturing process.
Takahiro Yoshihara, who runs the shop, shapes the candy into various forms using only his hands and traditional spring-loaded scissors.
He heats the material until it’s soft, places it on the tip of a stick and then shapes it by stretching it with his fingers and cutting the form with the scissors. It quickly cools and hardens so he has to work fast.
Yoshihara shows me how to make the mythical flying horse Pegasus. The candy material has to be heated and mixed with food dye, then rolled into a ball and placed on the end of the stick. Read more