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Rakuen Sweets Pole Sugar in Kume, Naha City A new kind of Swiss roll made from peanut tofu
post : 2017.04.20 15:00
Since opening in July, 2014, this pastry shop has been a popular destinations for local sweets lovers. The owners also have a farm in Yaese Town, which used to be a sugar mill. The factory's tall, cylindrical chimney still stands tall and remains a local landmark. In fact, it is the “pole” in Pole Sugar.
“I wanted to make souvenirs using ingredients from my own farm,” Masato Takamine, president and pastry chef said. Shop manager Mio welcomes customers with great hospitality. I saw several reasons beside the tasty food why people might be attracted to this shop.
Masato used to make his tarts, puddings and pastries out of the pumpkins and ginger that he grew on his farm. Currently, he is also growing blueberries, bananas and herbs. He is always in pursuit of one-of-a-kind items. To that end, he has held monthly meeting with his staff and, together, they have been successful creating many new items.
For example, the “Jiimamii kinako Swiss roll” is a unique, chewy roll cake. He adds kinako (soy bean flour) to the dough and peanut tofu to the cream. Masato, who's always loved peanut tofu, came up with the idea. It took six months for him to complete the recipe. He started selling Swiss rolls in July, 2015 and now sells 30 to 40 rolls per day. It’s a very popular item.
It needs to be refrigerated so it might be hard to take home if you are a visitor to Okinawa. Masato is thinking about a future mail order service to keep up with its popularity. The Swiss roll is not too sweet and has great flavor from the kinako and peanut tofu. I found the distinctive soy bean flavor and unique combination with the peanut tofu to be a surprising secret to its popularity.
In addition to the roll cakes, scones, doughnuts and breads are available. Vegetables and sausages on focaccia, baguettes, white breads are also great sellers. Let me introduce you some of my favorites.
“Matayoshi-no-ojii” - pastries using salt from Aguni Island sent by grandpa Matayoshi – and “curry and fried shrimp” – a combination of baked curry and a deep fried shrimp – are two unforgettable and unique items.
And, don't miss the cinnamon rolls! They are very popular among both locals and tourists. These pastries have layers like croissants and only cost 380 yen. When I visited the shop, I saw eight rolls in the beginning, but six were gone within one hour. “I hope to sell our products as souvenirs at Naha Airport one day,” Mio said. I hope to be able to buy their sweets and breads all over Japan one day.
Rakuen Sweets Pole Sugar
Address: Urban Comfort 1F, 1-14-1 Kume, Naha City, Okinawa
Closed: Sunday and irregularly
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Sachiko