"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.
"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!
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!
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 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.
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."
"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)