Kozakura Karinto: Confectionary Perfected over Generations
As Nihombashi Mitsukoshi's specialist confectionary shop featuring popular and long-established sweets from across Japan, Kayuan is dedicated to bringing you exceptional quality, much-loved local tastes, authenticity, and excellent gifts. This time we would like to take the opportunity to introduce products from the specialist karinto shop Kozakura, based in Asakusa. A delicious traditional snack food, which is made primarily of flour, yeast, and brown sugar, the handmade karinto from Kozakura has a history spanning more than sixty years. The company's strong heritage in making these exquisite treats has found a special place in people's hearts, and its story is even more special and serendipitous.
Kozakura was originally opened at the start of the Meiji era as a luxurious and traditional Japanese restaurant called Fukushima. The proprietress at that time, the sixth generation of the family to operate the restaurant, found a confectionary factory in the Tokyo metropolitan area to make karinto as a long-lasting souvenir that customers could bring back to their family to enjoy. As news of the light, delicious and sweet handmade product spread, happy recipients began to request more karinto. As times changed, the karinto production and shop replaced the restaurant to become the family's only business.
Today, Kozakura's chief executive Mr. Ida is the eldest son of that proprietress, dedicated to maintaining the time-honored traditions that have made the brand a success. In recent years, Kozakura has expanded its flavours, adding options such as roasted sesame and maple, which utilizes Canadian maple syrup, and sakura, which has a new salty-sweet taste thanks to the addition of pickled sakura flower petals to the dough mixture. The charm of these sweets is that they always use top-quality ingredients, and use completely handmade processes. Artisan bakers begin their day at 1am to make the dough, which is then left for three hours to rest before being shaped into pillows, fried, and flavoured. Even the wrapping paper is tailor made, in dark purple adorned with a sakura motif, which is hand cut, wrapped, and tied with string; no modern items, such as tape, are used.
It is thanks to Kozakua's attention to detail that its karinto brand is known as one of the top three karinto brands in Tokyo. Crunchy yet chewy, sweet yet balanced, these donut-like snacks are incredibly more-ish and a delightful accompaniment to green tea or coffee. Whether a regular treat or an occasional gift, the karinto you enjoy today is made from Kozakura's first recipe.
As a light, handcrafted snack that can last two months, karinto is the perfect gift to share with friends and family across the globe or bring home as a souvenir.
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