Matsumotos Corner Vol.14

Sakura Mochi

- Enjoy the Fragrance of Cherry Blossoms -

Will we have to have another cherry blossom viewing in quiet this year again? Although the human world is still in a difficulty, I’m sure the cherry blossoms will bloom beautifully this year as usual.

Now, there is a sweet that is eaten during this season. It’s called Sakura Mochi which is usually a pinkish rice cake. The inside is f illed with red bean paste, a standard ingredient in Japanese sweets. Its outside is the key point. This rice cake is wrapped in salted leaves f rom the cherry tree. The cherry tree has no leaves when it’s in bloom around March and April. However, as the flowers begin to fall, the leaves start to appear and the tree eventually transforms into a tree with bright green leaves.

The salted cherry leaves give the whole rice cake an indescribable nice fragrance. The cherry leaves need to be pickled in salt to give off this f ragrance. Cherry blossom itself have a f ragrance, but actually, the smell of most types of cherry trees are very weak. When I think of the scent of cherry blossoms, I associate it with that of Sakura Mochi, or the salted cherry leaves. Some people eat these salted leaves and some don’t, but even if you don’t eat them, you can fully enjoy the fragrance of cherry blossoms.