Do you know mizu-yokan, a traditional Japanese dessert? This prized souvenir is generally understood as a specialty of summer while it was originally made in winter. Mizu-yokan is a product created under very severe weather conditions of Fukui Prefecture. There are various ways to enjoy it, one of which is to have it frozen. The article is to highlight the charm of mizu-yokan as a wonderful souvenir originating from Fukui Prefecture.
Mizu-yokan is a typical souvenir, which contains a lot of water and a smaller amount of kanten, dried mucilage obtained from algae. The soft and smooth texture of mizu-yokan is one of the prominent reasons for its popularity. Once you have it in your mouth, it will definitely blow the hot summer air away. It is considered as a refreshing dessert more commonly eaten in summer, but mizu-yokan was originally made in the wintertime. The confectionery is related to severe cold weather of Fukui Prefecture.
Mizu-yokan is low in sugar and has a short expiration date. There was no refrigerator at the time, which meant it had to be preserved in the wintertime. Fukui Prefecture has a lot of snow in winter and the temperature is low enough to keep mizu-yokan well preserved.
Although the origin of mizu-yokan is not certain, it is said to have been spread by a boy who served a merchant’s house during the Taisho / Showa era by bringing back mizu-yokan home in Fukui Prefecture.
How to Enjoy Mizu-Yokan
There are different ways to enjoy mizu-yokan. One of the examples is a frozen mizu-yokan. It is simply made by freezing it. You can also enjoy it without freezing it as a Japanese confectionery, but it tastes surprisingly much better when frozen. It would give you more of a refreshing feel as well as better texture and taste. It is worth trying eating this way if you ever receive it as a souvenir.
The store-bought mizu-yokan normally last for a long time, while the homemade one generally last only for a few days. You can keep it fresh longer by storing in your refrigerator. Although you lose some of the flavors, it is one of the attractions of mizu-yokan that it can be preserved for a long time when properly stored.
Where to Buy Mizu-Yokan
Egawa is a store that was established in 1937, thereafter expanded nationwide. Their mizu-yokan is made every winter. Some types of mizu-yokan, which is only available during winter, can be enjoyed differently when eaten in summer. Mizu-yokan is a unique summer sweet, which could make you forget about the extreme cold weather if you eat them in winter. Egawa is the best shop to buy yokan for souvenirs.
Store: EGAWA, Co.Ltd
Address: 3-6-14 Terute, Fukui-shi, Fukui
Access: 10 minutes on foot from Echizen railway Mikuni Awara line, Fukudaimae-Nishi-Fukui station
4 hours 5 minutes from Osaka station