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Crunchy and Chewy! Houkiboshi, A Specialty Shop in Minatogawa, Urasoe City Offers Classic French Canelé Pastries!
post : 2018.10.14 06:00
There are numerous French pastries that are now very familiar and available in Japan, like eclairs, macarons, and crepes, but how about the traditional canelé? Many may have seen them, but not many have actually tasted this very special confection.
A specialty shop opened its doors this past April in the old military housing area known as Minatogawa Stateside Town in Urasoe City, offering wonderfully delightful canelés.
The name of the shop, Houkiboshi, means ‘comets’ in Japanese. The owner came up with the name thinking, “Okinawa’s blue seas are beautiful too, but the starry night sky is more reminiscent of canelés.” Once you enter the shop, you’ll see a tempting selection of bite-sized canelés neatly arranged on the counter.
The shop usually has a selection of eight regular choices plus one or two seasonal selections. The canelés offered here are made with brown sugar from Tarama Island, and local milk and eggs. The seasonal selection up until September was canelé with Okinawan grown passionfruit. They are carefully prepared without any additives to keep the taste and aroma of the natural ingredients.
Ms. Ito, the shop manager has had experience in developing café menus in other parts of Japan. When asked what some of the challenges in opening Houkiboshi were, she said, “Okinawa has a different climate compared to other prefectures. Even with the same recipe, we weren’t getting the same results here.” She said that with the high temperature and humidity in Okinawa, the water measurement was especially hard in getting the crunchy crust. Over time, they adjusted the measurements little by little to achieve just the right amount of crunch and finally reached the perfect recipe.
The canelés that are always available at the shop include Okinawa Coffee Canelé, prepared with coffee beans from the popular Okinawa Cerrado Coffee; Ogimi Village Green Tea Canelé, using green tea grown in Ogimi Village and ground in a special mill used only for this purpose; Okinawa Milk Canelé, prepared with simmered milk, sugar, and cream, all produced in Okinawa; and Awamori (Cusu: aged) Canelé, that offers a delightfully fruity taste of the famous Okinawan liquor.
The canelés are crunchy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside, and the sweet, aromatic, and mildly bitter taste will charm you with just one bite. At Houkiboshi, they bake several batches throughout the day, so if you’re lucky, you may be just in time for canelés fresh out of the oven.
You can take them to go or enjoy them on the bench just outside the shop. Enjoy the canelés with a delicious cup of coffee from the nearby Okinawa Cerrado Coffee♪
Address: Minatogawa Okisho Jutaku #25, 2-16-2 Minatogawa, Urasoe, Okinawa
Business Hours: 11:30-18:30 (or when sold out)
Closed: Tuesdays, Every 1st & 3rd Wednesdays
(Not including national holidays, Golden Week, and Obon)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Sachiko Tachi