Monday, July 28, 2008


Day seven: Amanattō / 甘納豆

7-11, ¥120

My mother loves Japan just as much as I do, but we’ve always disagreed on one big thing: the sweets. Like me, she’s a fan of squishy and gelatinous textures, but she’s learned the hard way that a glossy dark brown interior is less often chocolate and more often an, sweet bean jam. “Beans and sugar, “ she says with a shudder.

Well, Mom, avert your eyes. Amanattō is a kind of deconstructed an. A variety of dried beans (including the faddish black soybean) are boiled and then coated in granulated sugar. The resulting product has an appealing crystalline crunch, but the beany interior is somewhat mealy and overwhelmingly sweet, as if a molecular shoehorn had been used to pack in as much sugar as physically possible.

Again, I’ve probably slandered a whole genre by basing my judgment on a 7-11 snack. The amanatto on sale at various depachika are far more expensive, but I’ll hang around looking hungry and see if I can score some samples for comparison’s sake.

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