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Release | Yoko Sasaki

The best three souvenirs from “Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” are “Dorayaki”, “Ganso Yamajii”, and “Hakodate Sanpo”

“Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” was established in 1860 in Hakodate, where flourished by the opening of the port. The fans of confections from Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke has spread all over Japan. Confections from them are well-known as “presents that would please everyone”. I will try to discover the secret of confections produced by the long-established shop by looking at the long-seller “Dorayaki”, “Ganso Yamajii” and the best-seller “Hakodate Sanpo”.


alt、函館千秋庵総本家 宝来町本店は、京都の街中で見かける菓子店にも似た佇まい。看板の書は、正岡子規に師事した俳人・河東碧梧桐(かわひがし・へきごとう)の作▲Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke Horaicho Honten looks like confectionary stores in Kyoto. The sign is written by a Haiku poet Hekigoto Kawahigashi, who studied under Shiki Masaoka.
 

“Dorayaki” is made with bean paste which takes three days to finish and hand-baked pancake

“Dorayaki” is the oldest existing product of “Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke”. The fourth generation Sakutaro Matsuda started making Dorayaki at the end of Taisho era, and the recipe is transmitted until now, and they keep making with the same procedure for 90 years.


 alt、ふんわり、もっちりした皮の中には、スキッとした甘さの粒あんがたっぷり▲The fluffy and chewy pancake is filled with plenty of sweetened red bean paste. 


They use Dainagon Azuki from south Hokkaido for the red bean paste. Wash the beans and soak it in the water for a night. Cook the beans on the next day and rest it for a night and cook it again for finishing on the third day. Then spread the finished red bean paste on freshly baked pancakes on the fourth day. 

The characteristics of red bean paste with the traditional recipe are refreshing sweetness. “When you have a bite, you feel the distinguished sweetness. However, the sweetness does not last long, and it disappears gradually.” The sixth generation and the chairman Shunji Matsuda explained about the red bean paste like that.  

“This procedure takes a lot more work than the usual procedure. However, Senshuan’s artisans don’t hesitate to take time. We need time and work to make something delicious. That is inevitable.” 

The red bean paste which took three days to finish is put on hand-baked pancake by artisans. The dough of pancakes is prepared on the afternoon of the day before baking. Then adjust the dough in the morning. The first delivery of Dorayaki arrives at Horaicho Honten approximately 9:00 am. 


 alt、▲「函館千秋庵総本家」の「どらやき」は、あんこ派と皮派がいるそう。1個(205円)から買い求められます▲“Dorayaki” from “Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” has red bean paste fans and pancake fans. You can purchase from one piece (205 yen). 
 

“Ganso Yamajii” is a rice cracker typical of Hokkaido and Hakodate

The fourth generation who developed “Dorayaki” created another new confection at the beginning of Showa era. That is “Ganso Yamajii”, the rice cracker with a somewhat mixed taste of west and east. 

In Hokkaido, people sometimes call bears “Yamajii” as a friendly reference. (“Yamajii” means old men in mountains) “Ganso Yamajii” uses a motif of a bear holding salmon on his back and wearing ski. “The first generation of Yamajii did not hold ski poles. The fourth generation may have never skied because he was born in Tokyo.” Mr. Matsuda told me, thinking about the time back then. 


 alt、パッケージの山親爺はストックなしの初代の姿。中の煎餅は、初代とはポーズが異なる平成版山親爺にストックを持たせた型で焼いています。箱詰(5枚入324円ほか)と缶入り(10袋20枚入り1,512円ほか)があります▲The package prints the illustration of the first generation of Yamajii without ski poles. The rice cracker is baked with a mold contains Yamajii holding ski poles. They offer boxes (324 yen for five pieces and more) and cans (1,512 yen for 10 bags 20 pieces and more). 


They use flour, rice flour, and what I want you to notice; butter and milk instead of water. I can feel this is typical of Hakodate because of the influence of western culture. 

The unique texture and melting dough of “Ganso Yamajii” have not changed from a long time ago. The older generations love this texture. When I asked Mr.  Matsuda, he told me that they put each piece on to wire netting and rub them to make a smooth texture. I can feel the spirit of the long-established shop from this tiny work. 
 

“Hakodate Sanpo” is castella manju prints iconic places in Hakodate


“Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” presented castella manju “Hakodate Sanpo”, which mixes their signature red bean paste and dough, as a celebration of Hokkaido Shinkansen in March 2016. This is the new confectionary developed after countless experiments and discussions which took 5 years. 


 
alt、「函館散歩」の焼き型は、函館を代表するお散歩スポット「特別史跡 五稜郭跡」「金森赤レンガ倉庫群」「函館ハリストス正教会」の3種類。おみやげに、各1個入り(330円)のパッケージを買い求める人が多いそうです▲They use bean jam for “Hakodate Sanpo” and beans are Erimo Azuki from Otofuke in Tokachi Region. “The attraction of bean jam made with these beans is the purple color. Our artisans carefully soak the beans into the water many times and create this smooth and melty texture.” 


They use bean jam for “Hakodate Sanpo” and beans are Erimo Azuki from Otofuke in Tokachi Region. “The attraction of bean jam made with these beans is the purple color. Our artisans carefully soak the beans into water many times and create this smooth and melty texture.” 

“Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” used flours produced in Hokkaido for the first time in “Hakodate Sanpo”. They were attracted to slight sweetness brought by flours from Hokkaido. They took two years to finish the recipe. They could create somewhat western taste in the dough by adding milk. 
 
alt、「観光の方だけでなく、地元のあんこ好きな方にも人気です」と、宝来町本店の瀬戸さん▲“Not only for tourists but also local red bean paste fans love this confection.” Ms. Seto from Horaicho Honten told me.  
 

There are other famous confections tells history and glory of Hakodate

“Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” developed together with the history of Hakodate as they produced “Hakodate Financiers” to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Hakodate port in 2009, relating to France because they influenced Hakodate a lot when they opened the port. 


 alt、函館開港150周年を記念して誕生した「函館フィナンシェ」。開港当時の函館に影響を与えたフランスにちなんだ菓子を、北海道産バターとアーモンドを主原料に、日本人の口に合うよう軽やかに焼き上げています。1個165円から
▲“Hakodate Financiers” are rather light considering Japanese tastes and use Hokkaido produced butter and almonds. They are available from one piece (165 yen). 


alt、函館千秋庵総本家 宝来町本店の店内では、サービスのお茶を飲みながらお菓子を味わうこともできます、▲In Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke Horaicho Honten, you can enjoy their confections and their free tea. 

You can purchase “Ganso Yamajii” and “Hakodate Sanpo” at Horaicho Honten, other directly operated shops in Hakodate, Hakodate Airport, Goryokaku Tower, and Mt. Hakodate Ropeway. 

Enjoy confections from Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke while you walk around the city and buy some for presents. Try the flavor from confectionary store born in Hakodate and grow up in Hakodate.


Related Links

- Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke
  • The best three souvenirs from “Hakodate Senshuan Sohonke” are “Dorayaki”, “Ganso Yamajii”, and “Hakodate Sanpo”

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Yoko Sasaki

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