Japanese confectionary company Taneya has been around since 1872, and are especially renowned for their originality in Japanese sweets. Today, I'll introduce one of their new experimental treats: The Olive Daifuku.
Olive Daifuku combines carefully selected raw ingredients and beautiful attention to detail. Daifuku, which many of us simply refer to as Mochi, is a glutinous rice cake with a sweet filling, most often red bean paste. The novel idea to combine that with olive oil is something so unexpected, and such ideas have made Taneya's name since the Meiji Period.
But it is not just the actual Olive Daifuku itself that is a surprise...Its emerald green packaging makes it look as if it were a bottle of olive oil!
You wouldn't think this is a traditional Japanese confectionary if you saw it, right? The packaging fuses Japanese and Western styles for a chic design.And when you remove the outer packaging, you get a lovely green box.
The inside of the box is elegantly put together, looking more like jewelry than food.
White Daifuku are lined up in the inside of a peacock blue/black box, creating a splendid contrast of colors. Nestled between the mochi is what looks like a bottle of perfume, but it is actually a bottle of olive oil! The presentation really gives it a high class feeling.
When you pour the emerald green olive oil over the Daifuku, it glistens like a jewel.
It is also important to note that Taneya does not use just any old Olive Oil. Taneya's olive oil draws the eyes in such a remarkable way, but why?
Taneya uses Italian company Castello Di Poppiano's Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Their Extra Virgin Olive Oil is extracted from olives, then immediately after frozen at a super low temperature of -25 Celsius (-13 degrees Fahrenheit). The freshness is thus not lost, and then it is quickly bottled. The secret to the vivid, emerald green color of the olive oil is also because of a unique manufacturing method. Olive Daifuku only uses this specially made olive oil.
But of course, the main part of this special treat is exceptional as well -- The Daifuku itself.
The Daifuku used for Olive Daifuku is made using Japan's highest grade glutinous rice brand, Shiga Habutae Mochi. This rice is said to be "blessed by the Lake Biwa," which is located in Shiga Prefecture, where this rice comes from. When eating this rice, its selling point is supposed to be its sweet scent, large-sized grains, and a softness in the body of the rice. The commitment to using such quality ingredients makes the Daifuku delicious on its own even without the olive oil.
So now we know all about the unique, carefully selected ingredients of Olive Daifuku, but how is it, really?
It really does look pleasing to the eye, but you have got to wonder about the salty flavor. The element of surprise when eating this is what makes this extraordinary, but there are definitely people out there who would question if the sweet and salty flavors go together well.
Well, to curb your curiosity just a tiny bit, here is a collection of actual comments from Japanese people who have sampled it:
"I couldn't wait and stuffed it in my mouth and tasted the smoothness of the olive oil. The mochi is soft, and the gentle sweetness of the red bean paste spreads through your whole mouth. When you cover it in the olive oil, it transforms into a refined Daifuku product."
- takedaki via blog.livedoor.jp
"I ate it yesterday, but I already want to eat it again. It's a flavor you could become addicted to."
- tommy8133 via Instagram
"Taneya's Olive Daifuku. It's too delicious that I'll end up buying it again. Olive oil and Daifuku actually go together well~♡♡"
- hiroron1223 via Instagram
"The initial fruity scent, the faintly salty flavor on the Mochi, and the gentle sweetness of the red bean paste is full-bodied and blends together in the mouth, giving the sense of a "New Japanese sweets." When eating it with the olive oil, the texture becomes smoother and the flavor of the red bean paste becomes richer. Because you would not usually argue that olive oil and Daifuku suit each other, there is a higher sense of unity than one would expect."
So what do you think of the unexpected Japanese-Western fusion, Olive Daifuku?
You can check out Taneya's website at taneya.jp