We like to eat then tell you all about it!

Tea and Anpan

In Cake, Dessert, Drinks, Japan, Japanese, Snacks on 3 October 2009 at 1:59 am

Cjpn cake 092609

Last Saturday, after an early morning class and surprise quiz, BigHache and I went to Circle Japan for some J-conversation and to say good bye to Mr. Mazda. I don’t know about you but I crave a place where I can roll up to the bar and say, “I’ll have the usual.” I had that in Japan and I am trying to have that here in the States, too. On this day, though, it was a little bittersweet as Mr. Mazda’s time in Jax was complete and he was on his way back home overseas. Mrs. Circle Japan (from here on out known as “CJ”) prepared one of her cakes for Mr. Mazda’s going away party later that night. I don’t know if you have ever had a cake like this but let me tell you, they are SO GOOD and wont kill your diet and won’t turn you into a diabetic. The sweetness is very light and with the fruit the entire dessert is refreshing. Mmmm. Don’t those strawberries look gorgeous? Yes, they do!

While waiting for Mr. Mazda to make his appearance at the J-grocery store, Bighache and I watched Doraemon and chatted with CJ. Do you like anime? Are you a true Otaku? I have to admit that I DO like anime but to a certain extent. Doraemon is a much loved anime among generations in Japan. It has almost TWO THOUSAND!! (2000) episodes. I watched this playful anime in CJ’s shop because the Japanese used was easy to catch and it was on a flat screen TV. Must to watch!! >__< I tend to like some of Japan’s anime because it isn’t all super powers or the world ending. Just school life, playing tennis or solving crimes are enough for me…well, some times. I do like some magical anime and I try to avoid the fan service like the plague!

CJpn An Pan001 92609

ANYWAY, Mr. Mazda appeared and CJ was gracious enough to serve us Japanese green tea and anpan. I urge anyone who has not had green tea to try it. I don’t mean the bottled stuff on American grocery store shelves. I mean loose leaf tea, brewed in a beautifully crafted teapot and served in a cup who’s sole purpose in being created was to deliver fresh tea to your lips. I implore you! You want to know why many Japanese don’t suffer and die from cancer and other ailments? It is because of green tea. Research it out. Go ahead. I will wait. Actually, I won’t because I need to finish this post but do read about it. It is time to take care of your health and you start by putting fresh, clean ingredients in your body NOT chemicals and processed additives.

Cjpn tea and anpan 092609

Japanese green tea and anpan.

According to Wikipedia (man, I love that site), Anpan (あんパン ) is a Japanese sweet bun filled with red bean paste. It is not like eating chocolate. It is not like eating pudding. It’s a sweet bean that is slightly grainy but oh so good in many snacks. You can find Japanese eating the red beans (also know as anko or azuki beans) on green tea ice cream and jello and etc. It’s the yum.  Anyway, CJ bakes her own anpan right in her store and so we got to try it straight out the oven. OH MY GOSH! It is one thing to just buy bread off the shelf but to get it piping out with that beautiful steam rising out of it when you break the bread apart…DIVINE!!! You know what I mean. You get that feeling of wholesomeness and you are about to partake of something that means you are home and mom baked this JUST for you! Yeah, you know.

I haven’t quite understood it yet but I have this cat-like fascination with the Japanese language. I want to learn but I am very casual about it. I need to learn more grammar but step by step is fine by me. By going to CJ’s shop I can do this and that is exactly what I try to do. BigHache is learning Japanese, too so I am reviewing the basics and also finding that I have missed A LOT in my prior learnings.

While there we went on a hunt for a rather strange kanji >> 々. Can you see it? That ideogram right there gave us a run for our money! We asked various customers who strolled in, “WHAT IS THIS CALLED?!” No one knew off hand. 々is a doubling kanji which means the kanji before it is repeated.  Now, after googling the bijolas out of it all we found that that thing DOESN’T have a name in Japanese. None at all. It’s called nothing. Many Japanese people only know it from words it is used in. In English, we call it an iteration mark. Imagine having a symbol in your own language that everyone knows yet no one can name it. These are the little things I like about the Japanese language. Always something new to discover, discuss and learn. All the more reason for me to get to CJ’s store when I can.

Cjp Books

In closing (because this is becoming a life blog instead of a FOOD blog), It was nice to see Mr. Mazda off. I am without words when it comes to spending time with Japanese people. I am finding that there is a camaraderie I feel when with them and it runs so much deeper than conversation or travel stories. It is like a knowingness of how valuable our friendship and time is. Is this purely based on my passion for Japan, her mountains, the friendly discussions and excellent (and strange) food? I don’t think so. I think it is just a genuine connection that exists in life and lasts for a lifetime because we know how profound and deep relationships can and should be. I think I am going to shed some tears….

As usual, when one goes to Circle Japan one comes out with a lighter wallet and an arm full of goodies. I do believe I did escape with a steam cake. I also believe I longingly stared at some foods I used to enjoy in Japan. In any case, it always comes down to “what will I try next?” That’s how I live my life and that is how I choose my food! Have a great weekend everyone!

CJpn Don 092609

Sauteed beef over rice (Gyu Don) or grilled beef over rice (Yakiniku Don)? That is ALWAYS the question!

Circle Japan Grocery and Cafe

12192 Beach Blvd, # 1 Jacksonville, FL

Website: http://www.circlejapan.com

  1. wow … this and my recent travels have compelled me to dive more deeply into my heritage!

  2. Rock on! (^__^)

  3. Your blogs are always rockin’ with new vibes. This one, it made me feel at home.

    • I’m glad you liked this one. I feel it does give this comfortability. Warm Saturday, friends over for the usual get together, the casualness of the day. These are the type of experiences I want more of in my life. As always, thank you for reading my posts, BFF. I hope my words inspire you and you can enjoy the yummy eye candy.

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