As a foreigner in Japan, there are several typical questions that you’re sure to be asked. Alongside, “are you married?” and “can you use chopsticks” sits “what is your favourite Japanese food?” In particular, I’m constantly asked this by my students. In my early days I’d be answering, sushi, tempura and ramen. Now however; after having tried a fair bit of Japanese cuisine, I can wholeheartedly say my favourite is shu creme. These French-style cream puffs will be the death of me.
So what is it? According to the internet, shu cream is a Japanese dessert which translates to “cream puffs”. It is based upon the French Choix pastry where the puff pastry is baked to light and airy perfection with a thin yet slightly crisp exterior shell. The shell is then filled with a sweet and creamy custard. Prior to serving, shu cream is gently dusted with sweet powdered sugar.
In other words, a giant profiterole. Yes such greatness exists!
So forget ramen and sushi. And instead, shu shu shoose shu cream.
Stop what you’re doing for I have just stumbled upon the sole reason I may decide to stay in Japan for the entirety of my life. Yes, forever. Nestled deep within the picturesque woods of rural Japan, Cocogarden is every foodie’s haven.
First off, you know it’s gonna be good when you arrive at 9.45, the place doesn’t even open until 10am and there’s already the biggest line you have ever seen, ever, waiting to get inside.
Shu cream (Japanese custard filled cream puffs)
but wait for it…
Yes, it’s all organic and of the highest quality so oh my goodness, I can’t even.
In addition to mouthwateringly fluffy pancakes, my favourite details included the tall glass windows (see above) with a great view onto the mountains, their extensive gift shop (filled with endless goodies: puddings, tarts and cakes), the gelato caravan out front (which has asparagus gelato, yes asparagus) and the staff’s uniform!
Turns out oatmeal, raw nuts, wholewheat crackers, almond butter, coconut sugar and the like ARE available in Japan! The above are the goodies I bought from Jupiter (an international store) in Tottori and to celebrate, I had breakfast for dinner! Yum! Nothing better than something familiar in an unfamiliar place :)
PS Tottori is amazing – make sure to run down the sand dunes (or alternatively sand surf or even better; ride a camel and pretend to be in the Sahara – so believable!) and also, check out the sand mueseum! X