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“Himbeere (Motobu Town),” a Baked Goods Shop which Could be in a Fairy Tale
post : 2018.05.23 18:00
On December 2017, a fairy-tale-like baked goods shop has opened in a forest of Motobu Town, the town which is famous for Taiwan cherry blossom, Okinawa soba, and cafés. This baked goods shop which could be in a fairy tale is called “Himbeere.” The traditional German and Austrian baked goods are available here mainly, and you can also buy baked goods with seasonal ingredients of Okinawa.
After passing through Izumi Tunnel toward Motobu Town, you will find a subtropical forest. After drove about 300m, turn left, enter a path, and you will find a quiet area. It is hard to believe that a baked goods shop actually sites here.
It might be worth to come here just by experiencing a situation such as a house you found in the forest happened to be a good baked goods shop. I found a friendly cat was at a large garden. However, it was actually sneaked in this garden. It might be good to sit on the bench at the garden and relax while eating baked goods that you bought at the shop.
Oops, the introduction was a bit too long. Anyway, let’s start to write about baked goods at this shop. This is the signature goods of the shop, “Sachertorte.” (420 yen w/o tax) Mao Yadori, the owner / pastry chef, learned how to make the traditional German and Austrian baked goods at “Frey Enreido” in Kanagawa Prefecture. She followed a recipe she learned and remade this memorable Sachertorte in her hometown. Its presence, beautiful coating, and apricot jam sandwiched with chocolate dough might be attractive for adults.
Next is “Cake with Tankan, Cranberry, and Cream Cheese.” (250 yen w/o tax) Tankan is the local specialty of Motobu Town, and it is a part of citrus that will be harvested between winter and spring in Okinawa. Sweetness of boiled tankan peel with sugar and tankan jam, and sourness of cranberry and cream cheese are well-balanced. I cannot think of any words to describe its taste. Fresh tankan juice and icing with peel make its freshness.
This is “Cake with Chocolat and Cherry.” (280 yen w/o tax) It has bitter flavored chocolate dough, semi-sweet cherry, and walnut. This cake also features Dacquoise (mixed dough with almond and meringue), and you will find out the different texture of each when you try it. You can order its whole cake when you order it 1-week in advance.
This brown colored cake is “Gugelhupf with Raspberry and Cream Cheese.” (1,750 yen w/o tax) It looks like it has a garland on top, doesn’t it? Gugelhupf is traditional sweets in Germany and Austria. Lots of butter is used to make dough, and semi-sweet raspberry and cream cheese are also in it. Also, lemon- flavored icing, raspberry candy, and pistachio are on top of the cake. This is actually good for a gift.
Last sweets is “C'est quoi” which has chocolate inside meringue. Speaking of meringue sweets, most people might come up with its crispy, crumbly, and mouth melting texture. Unlike that, this C'est quoi has smooth and moist texture, so it is recommended even for people who do not like meringue much. Hiroaki Suzuki from Frey Reneido who Yadori studied with was a meringue artisan who represented Japan.
Suzuki trained in overseas, and later he learned the traditional Austrian meringue technique on his own. That was why he was a very strict artisan. “He always asked me to taste sweets and asked for comments. He kept saying to me that the way to get better is to make, eat, and gain experience.” Yadori looked back her training period. “When I had an interview with him, he said ‘I actually don’t want to hire women because they will not last long, but I have no reason to say no to you since you came all the way from Okinawa.’ That was how he accepted me.” Yadori told me nostalgically with a smile.
Since her father is a French chef, she started making pancake and cookies when she was in the 2nd grade. After she graduated from high school, she did not enroll confectionery college. Instead, she got a job at a local hotel and worked at Pastry section to gain experience. Later, she decided to learn how to make sweets from the beginning and started to search pastry shops in Tokyo area. She found Frey Enreido then.
“When I entered the shop, I was surprised with the wide variety of sweets. I saw lots of cakes that I had never seen, and I thought I want to learn how to make them. The first cake I tasted here was Sachertorte. Its deliciousness made me want to train at that shop.” When she decided to return to Okinawa 4 years later, Suzuki said to her then, “I am happy that I have disciples from Hokkaido to Okinawa that teach the taste of my sweets nationwide.”
Unlike hotels, she had to make orange peel, nappage for glazing, and jam almost from scratch while she was training at Frey Enreido. And, she still follows it in her hometown. She always wanted to open her own shop in the forest of Izumi. Today, she and 2 of her longtime friends make sweets together at this shop.
Address: 3268 Izumi, Motobu Town
Business Hours: 10:00-17:00
Closed: Sun – Tue
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Nobuya Fukuda