July 2019

How’s everyone’s Summer going so far? In July, there are many Matsuri (festival) begins in Japan. It is time to wear a Yukata (summer kimono) and experience a one-of-a-kind street food fair and here are a couple of the popular Japanese festival foods enjoyed in Japan.

Where there is a lot of people on the streets, there will be a lot of street food to savor. You will see endless yatai (屋台), mobile food stalls, occupying the matsuri venues and offering a delicious variety of foods.

Takoyaki (たこ焼き) – originated in Osaka, grilled octopus balls, are tiny wheat flour balls filled with cubed octopus (tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger and green onions. When the balls are cooked, they are topped with sprinkles of shaved bonito flakes, dried green seaweed, and drizzled with a sweet-tangy takoyaki sauce and a squirt of Japanese mayo. With crispy skin and a soft-gooey inside, these octopus balls are literally one of the best street food inventions. At a matsuri, you get to watch the takoyaki vendors flipping the balls on rows and rows of hemispherical cast iron pans with their deft bands. It’s mesmerizing to watch.

Taiyaki (鯛焼き) – Made using a waffle-like batter and a red bean filling, Taiyaki is a classic matsuri snack that comes in an attractive sea bream shape. When it’s freshly made, the crispy exterior surrounding the warm soft cake with sweet red bean filling is simply delectable. You can also find other flavors like chocolate, custard or sweet potato.

Have wonderful month and stay cool,

Chié Schiller
Board Chair / Executive President