April 26, 13 | Fumiko Magota
"Sapporo Sweets 2013" - This year's treats which best represent Sapporo have been decided!
Hokkaido's rich soil and cool climate are perfect for producing dairy, sugar, and wheat, materials perfect for making sweets.
Because of this Hokkaido's largest city, Sapporo, is sometimes refered to as the "Sweets Kingdom." To back this up, the "Sapporo Sweets Kingdom Promotion Council" meets every year to preside over the delicious "Sapporo Sweets Competition."
At this competition, sweet makers from across Hokkaido bring in treats created in accordance with the theme, "An image that represents Sapporo and fully takes advantage of only Hokkaido ingredients."
One unique feature of this competition is that all recipes which win will be produced by each participating retailer. So long as you follow the community guidlines, anything goes. The reproduction will be identicle to the original recipe, so customers can enjoy the taste no matter where they purchase the treat!
That was a rather long introduction, so let's get to introducing the sweets fom the grand prix this year! I heard this year's winners were on display at "Sapporo Sweets Cafe" so I went to take a look.
▲The store is located in the underground shopping center Aurora Town, off of Odori Station.
"Sapporo Sweets Cafe" works with about 110 confectionary shops, and every month it sells products from five or six of these stores. You may eat in the store, or take the sweets home with you!
▲For stores located farther away from the center of the city, this cafe is the perfect place to sell their sweets!
▲There are also baked goods.
Cakes which win the grand prix are sold here for one year. April is known as Grand Prix Month, and so all the past winners were on display as well!
▲"Sapporo Lotus Cup Fromage" was the 2009 winner.
This years grand prix was a "Sapporo Black Bean Tart." Created by "Cake House Stella Maris" in Minami-ku, Sapporo, this treat was chosen from 51 total competitors.
▲Black Bean Tart - 399 Yen. This black bean tart is topped with a black bean mousse and then coated with black bean broth.
"Black beans are a Japanese ingredient, but they are paired with western style cake in this treat. The flavors work quite well together. The skill and ingenuity of the pastry chef is quite apparent," explained the cafe's manager.
I tired a cake myslef and found the black beans to be quite delicious and the Japanese and Western styles mixed seamlessly.
▲Here is a cross section view.
There is also a backed confectionary section of the competition. This year there were 20 entries, and the winner was "Sapporo Odori Park Soy Cookies." This treat was produced by the well known confectionary "Morimoto."
▲Sapporo Odori Park Soy Cookies - 525 Yen. (One pack has five cookies.) Set to be released at the end of April. (Photograph from スイーツ王国さっぽろ推進協議会.)
"The clean air in Hokkaido really gives these cookies a fresh taste!" exclaimed the cafe manager.
For tourists these cookies make a perfect take out snack, the cake as well, because they can be enjoyed right above the shop in Odori Park!
The great taste of Hokkaido ingredients makes these sweets extra delicious. So the next time you're in Sapporo be sure to stop by and try a bit of a "Sapporo Sweets!"
【Sapporo Sweets Kingdom】
Official Website: http://sweets-sapporo.com
【Sapporo Sweets Cafe】
(Inside Underground Mall Arora Town, Odori Nishi 2-Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo)
Closed during New Years and during mall closures.
Official Website: http://sweets-cafe.jp/index.html
※Information is accurate as of April, 2013.
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Fukko)