What to Give? It’s Almost White Day

What to Give? It’s Almost White Day

The Production Peak of Confectionery Shops in Fukui

There is very little time left before White Day on March 14th, where Valentine’s Day gifts are returned. In a confectionery shop within Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City, the production of cute heart-shaped sweets is reaching its production peak. Enveloped in the sweet aroma, male customers have been closely evaluating the products.

At “HanaEchizen” (in Fukui City, Ninomiya, 3-Chome), there are eight kinds of sweets on display. The most popular is a heart-shaped baumkuchen. Dried rose petals are studded within the strawberry-flavoured dough, and then coated with white chocolate. A rectangular baumkuchen is also available, with nuts and cranberries, it has a sweet and sour flavour, using a lot of ruby chocolate.

“It would be great if a couple’s relationship can deepen with the sweets,” said the male shop owner (aged 62).

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1046610

Enthusiastically Evaluating Chocolates for Valentine’s Day

Enthusiastically Evaluating Chocolates for Valentine’s Day

Competition Between Shops Picking Up Steam, Chocolates Lined Up Appealing to Women’s Hearts

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, business competition among shopping centres within Fukui Prefecture is picking up steam. With many kinds of chocolates for everyone, including for those looking to treat themselves, or to exchange as gifts between friends, the sales sections are specially organized with the various flavours and appearances in mind, lining up the gorgeous products to best appeal to the women’s hearts.

MAIMON, a Fukui City gift shop within the PARIO CITY shopping centre, has a special sales corner with around 300 different products; included among the lineup are chocolates with flavours meant to evoke images from a long-running TV series, featuring main characters Akechi Mitsuhide and Oda Nobunaga. One product, from a famous hotel in Tokyo, features a fruity and sour flavour, with its appearance having vivid colours. There are also products aimed towards adults, having a more subtle sweetness.

The sales peak for Valentine’s Day is during the three days prior.

On January 21st, children and their parents were carefully evaluating the sweets together.

“I want to give my husband a higher quality chocolate than what I normally buy, as a way to express my thanks for our daily life,” said a 45-year-old woman.

“I want to make sweets and give it to my friends,” said the 18-year-old daughter with a smile.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1014064

Echizen Soba, Coated with Chocolate

Echizen Soba, Coated with Chocolate

Anticipating Demand for Christmas and Valentines Day

The Echizen Pottery Manufacturing Cooperative (越前焼工業協同組合, located in Echizen Town, Fukui Prefecture) has begun selling a gift set, which includes a snack of chocolate-overhead fried Echizen soba noodles and a sake cup specially made in Echizen. The product has been named “Soba Chocolate” (そばちょこ), taking inspiration from the packaged chocolate (チョコ, “CHOKO) and sake cup (おちょこ, “OCHOKO”). Filled with the charm of Fukui, order are anticipated in conjunction with Christmas, Valentines Day, and as a souvenir.

The product’s design director, Junichi Inoue (of Minami-Echizen Town), has been working with the concept in his mind for many years, until finally having a chance to present it to the cooperative, and being able to proceed with development.

The sweets are prepared by the soba shop “Oshouzuan” (御清水庵, located in Echizen City), and the traditional sweets shop “Cakeya yanagimoto” (けーきやyanagimoto, located in Sabae City). Fried Echizen soba noodles are coated with chocolate, and then covered with soba seeds. The first bite will begin with the bittersweet flavour of the chocolate; gradually, the aromatic flavour and saltiness of the soba will fill the palate. It can be enjoyed with a swerving of Japanese liquor, whiskey, or shochu.

The Echizen-made sake cup is produced by Yuuki Yoshikawa (of Echizen Town), a young potter part of the cooperative. Available in blue or white, it has a modern design. Echizen washi is used for wrapping.

“It’s an original chocolate snack that you can’t find anywhere else. It contains Echizen soba, Echizen pottery, and Echizen washi; the flavour, the container, and the packaging all come together to emphasize the essence of Fukui,” explained Inoue.

The product will be on sale for a limited time until March 2020. There are plans to have the product available during the same period every year.

A box of three small bags of the snack and a sake cup will be ¥2,300 (excluding tax). It is being sold in the cooperative’s direct sales shop Echizen-yaki no Kan (越前焼の館, located in Ozowara, Echizen Town), and the Oshouzuan cafe (御清水庵cafe, located in Yokawacho, Echizen City).

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/994009