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Wasabi & Strawberry Cheesecake

Wasabi & Strawberry Cheesecake

The Tale of Kitto Katto - Sn 1/Ep 1The Tale of Kitto Katto - Sn 1/Ep 1

Tastemaker Emmy Cho travels to Shizuoka and Yokohama to discover the secrets of Kit Kat's Wasabi and Strawberry Cheesecake flavors.

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Transcript

- Hey guys, my name is Emmy and I'm eating my way across Japan in the most unlikely way, I'm on a quest to discover Japan's unique Kit Kat flavors from Tokyo's rum raisin to Shizuoka's wasabi. I'm tasting, exploring and unwrapping what each region has to offer. Welcome to beautiful Shizuoka. So I'm here because Kit Kat has a lovely flavor called wasabi. So this is the flavor of this region and let's give it a taste. This one is light green in color. Hm, it doesn't smell like wasabi, it smells like vanilla. All right, let's give her a crack. Ah, and there she is inside. It's a little strange. It's quite sweet and the first flavors you taste are kind of eggy and vanillaed and then as you go along you get a pronounced wasabi flavor. Although it's not at all spicy, it just tastes like wasabi, a little bit like wasabi peas. So now I'm headed off to a wasabi farm to see if I can figure out why wasabi was chosen to represent this region. Shizuoka is responsible for producing 80% of Japan's wasabi and 40 minutes up some mountain roads is Utougi which is known as the birthplace of wasabi. People have been cultivating wasabi since the early 1600s and I'm headed to one of the farms to get my hands on some. So why does wasabi grow so well here? - Does it come from the top of the mountain? - That's amazing, amazing! So this is the wasabi itself? These are the small ones and these are the big ones? - Ah, so is wasabi indigenous to Japan? - I see, from this area? This is the place where wasabi was cultivated, I see, and began to be farmed. So explain to me what's going on here. Why are we have this terracing and the water coming in? What's happening? - Can you show me what it looks like when they're about ready? - Wow, so it's not very deep, it's shallow. - Is this one ready? - Ah, we can? - [Umasan] Okay. - Wow, there it is! I can smell it already. A little bit peppery. - Ah, you can plant this one? - Are the leaves edible? All right, let me taste it, here we go. I'm gonna take a small one. That's great. It's a little bit sweet and it's got that distinctive wasabi flavor to it. It's peppery, a little bit like arugula, and green and vegetal and delicious, a little bit bitter as well. Are the leaves edible too? Okay, let's try the leaves That's, that's stronger. That has more of a peppery bite and definitely more bitter, but delicious. I think it would go great in a salad. Mm hmm. A bit like arugula or rocket, nice. All right, we're gonna go taste this? - Okay. Umasan are these all the same? - Ah, so some are spicier than others? Can I try a little bit? - All right, here we go. It's not bad, it's kind of bitter. - Let's try it the way it's supposed to be prepared. - Okay. - Ah, we picked this one today? That's so great. Umasan, what is this made out of, this grater? - It's so beautiful, I love it. It's kind of pebbly, it feels a bit like sand. - I see, I'm afraid it's gonna be spicy. Mmm! Wow! - Mmm, it's delicious. It is hot, but, it's different kind of hot. It's in the front of your tongue, not in the back. But the wasabi flavor is marvelous. It fills your entire mouth, tastes green and not at all bitter. This one is slightly bitter. And the texture is really smooth. It's lovely. If I compare it to what I usually have, the kind of wasabi that comes inside of a tube, that experience is much more aggressive. It feels like it goes through your sinuses and kind of hits you over the head. This is strong, but it's not aggressive, it's more subtle and it's more of experience I felt in my mouth rather than through my nose and then through my head. Why does it only get spicy when you grate it? - Is it two layers here? - Here and then here? Ah. So how long will it stay hot? - How long has your family been working with wasabi? - Wow, a long time. That's wonderful. Umasan, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and your beautiful farm with us. I learned so much about wasabi and I think it was a really special and unique experience. Thank you so much. I just want to spend more time in Shizuoka. I'm just sad that our trip took us away from there so quickly. I think what they really do well there, too, the people that live there, it's just this, there's this harmony between the people that live there and farm there with their landscape. You know, you can obviously see that the wasabi is terraced and that they've harnessed the water that comes from the top of the mountain, but it's not over the top. Like, if there's, it's a nice little symbiosis, you know? It still remains lovely and beautiful and the people can still grow what they need to grow. They should if that's what you imagine what farming should be, you know? Small and intimate. I'm here in beautiful Yokohama, here to taste this flavor of Kit Kat, strawberry cheesecake. So I'm not really sure why the chose strawberry cheesecake, you know, but it's a cheesecake that we all know and love. And let's see what they say on the back, they say this is supposed to represent the foreign romanticism that's supposed to be associated with Yokohama. So let's give it a taste and see if there's any truth to it. Ah, and the bar is a white one. Not chocolate at all, which shouldn't be surprising since it is cheesecake after all. Mmm, smells like strawberry scented erasers. Mmm, it's pretty good. The flavor is very cream cheesy. I'm surprised they actually got the cream cheese flavor in there. And there's a touch of strawberry, actually a good amount of strawberry, but I feel like you smell it more than you actually taste it and I actually think they did a pretty good job at capturing that cheesecake flavor, particularly at the very, very end. It's like oh, cheesecakey. Fun and familiar. All right, let's see if I can find if there's any truth to this whole foreign romanticism here in Yokohama. So I'm headed over to Castella Bun to investigate something called Castella cake which is considered typically American somehow, but I've never actually had it. So I'm really curious to see what it is and how it's supposed to represent something American. What is Castella? - Right, so Castella is a cake? - [Emmy] It's a sponge cake. Sponge cake, but a custard? - I'm from America, I've never heard of it. - American servicemen that were on the base called it Castella cake, I see, I see. How interesting. How did you start making Castella cake? - [Emmy] So your father started it? - Yes. - Yeah. - How interesting, in the same location, in the same spot? - Really? And the same ovens? Is everything the same? - There's a lot of history here. But you've made your own recipes. - Shrimp flavored Castella? How was it? - 400 years, I had no idea. - And then the recipe has changed to become something that's completely different and adaptable to the Japanese palate. It smells so good in here and I'm dying to taste your Castella. Can we go taste it? Great. - So it's better to eat it three days later? Ah, okay, so freshly made, right. Itadakimasu. - Mmm. So good, it's got a spongy texture and the, you can taste the little candy pieces on the bottom, it's crunchy and nice and eggy. It's delicious. Mmm. - This is the way you're supposed to eat it. Yeah, it does have a different texture. Mmm! - Very different. This, they're both very light and spongy, but this one's a little bit sticky. - Chitasan, thank you so much for sharing your store with us and this delicious recipe. Thank you. So Ima head over to Gateau Yokohama to taste some Yokohama cheesecake, which has an interesting story because it almost closed, but thanks to a loving customer who rescued it we still have Yokohama cheesecake today. And I'm curious to see how this will match up to my expectations of what cheesecake tastes like. So the owner's son, Masaharu Okayama, showed me around. Nice to meet you. - Thank you much for having me, you have so many beautiful things. Look at all these different types of cheesecakes. Which one is your signature cheesecake? - Ah, this one that says number one. May I try it? - Great, thank you. Wow, look at this space. Totally unexpected. Check it out, I think those are oysters. Who would've thought part of a cafe. - Looks great, it's so pretty. Mmm. It's got a very similar creamy texture as the cheesecake that we have in the US, but the flavor is quite different. It's not as sweet. Why is it called Yokohama cheesecake? - So why are there so many Western sweets in Yokohama? - So Yokohama and Nagasaki were kind of a gateway from the Western in terms of recipes, foods and culture? - So what kind of city is it now? What kind of city has it become? - And I feel that with the cheesecake and the coffee, it's delicious. Thank you so much! Yokohama's only 45 minutes away from Tokyo, but it has a completely different feel. It's a lot more intimate and small. I don't think there's a better example of this kind of intimacy I'm talking about than this cute little townhouse that's been converted into a cafe, called Enokitei. So the owner of Enokitei, Miho Ando, is going to sit down with me and explain to me why these Western buildings even exist here. Will you look at this stuff, it's so beautiful. This architecture is not what I expected to find here in Japan. But in Yokohama I guess you shouldn't be surprised. So I think this is, yep, I think that's it right there. Gosh, it looks just like a house. It doesn't even look like a cafe. - You have such beautiful things. - Hmm, is this cheesecake? - Two types, ah, really? May I try them? - Thank you. This is the rare cheesecake, okay. Ah, it's so great. Mmm, it's delicious. - They're wonderful. So how did your mom come up with these recipes? - So you grew up in this neighborhood? - Ah, in this house? - What a great story. What do you think of the future of this house? What do you think will happen? - I really appreciate the fact that you have preserved this house the way you have. - Yokohama was cool, I liked it. I really felt I got a real sense of the port-ness of it, you know, when we were by the water in the port and how that could be a literal gateway or an opening to other worlds and other cultures. Like, thinking about Japan's history in terms of opening itself up to the West. It'd been closed off like, no, not interested in any business, in the sense of wanting to bring in people or a business. I liked it. There is that kind of foreign romanticism which I saw, which is kind of interesting to see as a foreigner and seeing what the real Western stuff looks like, but then I was thinking about if you think about it in the sense like if you and I both are from the States and we go to some place like Butte, Montana and there's a cowboy culture you can get into that sub-culture too. I can see how there's an adoption of a culture because you romanticize it. It harkens to something that you fantasize is romantic and sweet, but then you take it back and you do something else with it. It's what they admire in that culture, they've adapted it and shaped it a little bit to make it suitable for their taste and it's Japanese now and it works for that culture. It's no longer Western.

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