Sunday, November 18, 2007

Black Sesame

Japanese cuisine has never been one of my absolute favorites, but on my recent trip there I was happy to discover several native foods that perfectly match my palate. Black sesame is one. I don't know that the flavor of the seed itself is any different from the white version, but I can tell you that the black sesame crackers, mochi and as in this photo, ice cream, were among the very best culinary memories I brought back with me.

Caveat: I have been known to bang the drum for sweets that find no takers among my circle. Red or mung bean paste desserts leave most people wondering if they can ever again take seriously my food recommendations. Same thing happens when I recommend avocado milk shakes (with chocolate!). But a food culture that can make a bland bean into a sweet confection is one I can really respect. Hey, it's nutritious!

I discovered on the web that this ice cream, on your right in the picture - with a delicate but distinct nutty flavor -- can be obtained here in NYC. I'll be stopping by next time I'm in the area.


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