Release | Yuki Konishi
Smelt, salmon, and shiokara? Seafood pastries from Pasco Hokkaido Premium are the new souvenir from Hokkaido
People are talking about seafood pastries such as “smelt danish” from “Pasco Hokkaido Premium” on social networks.
These luxurious pastries are available at only Shin-Chitose Airport, which makes it a perfect souvenir from Hokkaido. But why did they put smelt and shiokara in pastries? I will introduce the background story behind the development.
Use premium ingredients and flours from Hokkaido - pastries that can’t find anywhere else“Pasco Hokkaido Premium” is a bakery opened on the second floor of Shin-Chitose Airport’s domestic terminal on September 11, 2019. The bakery is in the area where many souvenir shops and specialty shops are located.
▲You can find the bakery easily if you try to walk towards JAL areas from the center of the second floor.
As the name suggests, their attraction is unique pastries made with premium ingredients sourced in Hokkaido, such as Hokkaido’s flour “Yumechikara.”
“Hokkaido smelt danish” became famous for its visual impact. How did they come up with those unique seafood pastries that we can’t normally find at usual bakeries? I visited Miho Hashimoto, who involves in the product development at Pasco Yeast Company.
— Smelt and pastries. We, people from Hokkaido, would never come up with things like that.
“For example, if I were developing a new bread product, I start by thinking about what kind of bread would be interesting in the usual product development process. However, I had to start thinking about how to make use of Hokkaido sourced ingredients to create unique pastries. I had to shift my mind completely. We started by putting out as many local specialties of Hokkaido as we can think of in the meeting room. (laughs)”
▲Miho Hashimoto works for Pasco Yeast Company’s product development team.
— I guess smelt was one of them. Seafood, especially smelts, has peculiar smells. I assume you had to do countless experiments to make pastries with such ingredients.
“Hokkaido has a rich resource of foods, so there are already many pastries made with vegetables, meats, and other processed foods. However, we did not find many seafood pastries. So, we decided to try developing seafood pastries. We worked extremely hard to make attractive visuals that everyone can tell it’s made out of seafood and make it delicious at the same time.”
▲“I never imagined I would make smelt pastries in my life.” Chikara Nakamura, the manager of Pasco Hokkaido Premium, said. There is a kitchen inside the bakery, and they offer freshly baked pastries and other baked goods.
“We bake smelt once in our kitchen. Then wrap it with danish dough and bake again. We were able to reduce the peculiar smell by baking it two times. The danish dough contains a lot of butter to make the texture crunchy.” Nakamura said.
▲They made the shape like a net to make smelt visible.
I was surprised to experience the amazing match of the crunchy texture of danish, smoky flavor of smelt, and butter flavor.
▲They offer it at 388 yen for a piece, which is very reasonable, even they use Hokkaido sourced female smelt, not a capelin.
There are many more seafood pastries - shiokara potato butter bun is unique to HokkaidoLet me introduce other seafood pastries.
“Scallop gratin gratin” contains one whole piece of scallop. This pastry was quite heavy!
▲This pastry is inspired by coquille gratin, as you can tell from the shape. 378 yen for a piece.
Just like smelts, Hashimoto worked really hard to create this “Shiokara potato butter bun.” This bun was inspired by the standard Izakaya dish in Hokkaido that puts shiokara and butter on a steamed potato.
“I wanted to create something that inspired by not only local specialties but also Hokkaido’s unique dishes and matching of ingredients. I tried countless times to create this bun.” (Hashimoto)
▲They use the white sauce to make potato, butter, and shiokara match with buns. The peculiar smell of shiokara becomes smoky after it's baked and adds more flavor. This bun makes us want to have it with some alcohol. 324 yen for a piece.
This one with a cute shape if “Hokkaido salmon danish.” It contains plenty of Shiretoko salmon flakes.
▲This danish is flavorful with butter and cream cheese. It makes me want to have a glass of white wine! 378 yen for a piece.
They use plenty of Hokkaido sourced ingredients for sandwiches, such as crabs and melon. This “salt bread sandwich (grilled scallops)” puts butter and soy sauce flavored grilled scallops.
“Our dough made of Hokkaido sourced flours tastes really good. It’s fun for me to bake them.” Nakamura said.
“Ingredients from Hokkaido has a really high-quality. They taste good, so it’s fun to use them. I would like to create more pastries to introduce ingredients and dishes unique to Hokkaido.” Hashimoto told me.
We should check out their new products that broaden the attraction of food in Hokkaido!
We introduced unique seafood pastries in this article, but Pasco Hokkaido Premium offers many other pastries unique to Hokkaido, such as pastries using beans and seasonal vegetables. They also offer “Hokkaido bread,” which has a very moist texture by using plenty of Hokkaido sourced fresh cream.
You should check out the bakery when you have a chance to use Shin-Chitose Hokkaido.
▲Hokkaido bread has cute packaging, so it would be perfect for presents.
Related Links- Pasco
- Pasco Hokkaido Premium
Hokkaido Likers writer Yuki Konishi
Photo: Hokkaido Likers photo writer Minako Takada