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Real Treats for Your Body. Delightful Vegan Sweets from Shima Chubo Kafuu (Nakijin Village)
post : 2018.09.16 06:00
Confectionaries made without any animal products (eggs, milk, butter, etc.), a.k.a. vegan sweets, may seem bland and unappetizing to some. If you’re one of those skeptics, I definitely recommend you try the delicious treats available at Shima Chubo Kafuu, which just opened its doors in Nakijin Village on March 1, 2018.
The owner, Ms. Reiko Yamaguchi, suffers from a thyroid illness. An acquaintance introduced her to the vegan diet, and this is how it all started. “I don’t get as tired as much as I used to,” she explains. “I usually ate whatever was available, but since I started cutting down on animal products, my body feels better than before.”
Tarts, pound cakes, muffins, biscuits, chinsuko. All the 15 varieties of sweets that color the showcase at the shop are free of animal products. Ms. Yamaguchi wanted to start her business for all the people who were trying oh-so-hard to cut down or completely shut out sweets, or for kids who couldn’t enjoy sweets because their parents forbade them, all for the reason that “store-bought sweets and snacks are bad for your body.”
(Beni-Imo Purple Potato and Pumpkin Marble Tart)
The sweets available at Shima Chubo Kafuu are colorful and delightful to the eyes, and of course, to the taste, using seasonal fruits and vegetables of Okinawa, such as beni-imo purple potatoes, dragon fruit, bayberries, passion fruits, and more. Instead of white refined sugar, she uses cane sugar, like light brown and brown sugar. The salt is all natural and full of minerals, from Yagaji Island and Ie Island.
(Vegan Shio (salt) Chinsuko)
One of the popular choices is the chinsuko, a popular Okinawan confectionary, and at Shima Chubo Kaffu, it’s also vegan, of course. Chinsuko is commonly made with lard, but Ms. Yamaguchi creates them with sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is a quality oil rich in essential fatty acids like oleic acid and linoleic acid, which are said to be beneficial for health and beauty. By adding almond powder to the dough, the texture is delicate and elegant.
(Raw Cake with Vegan Crust)
Over the years, I’ve visited various shops and tried numerous varieties of vegan dishes, but was honestly taken aback by the sweets offered at Shima Chubo Kafuu for their degree of perfection. Ms. Yamaguchi says she didn’t really learn how to make them or was never an apprentice to some famous pastry chef. “I studied recipe books that people lent me,” she says. Initially, she made her pastries exactly how the books directed, but over time, she made adjustments here and there and added her personal touches, and finally reached her amazing, original recipes.
Ms. Yamaguchi says, “I don’t especially intend to focus on ‘vegan’. I just want people to enjoy my pastries and feel happy.” Well, her pastries are certainly delicious and definitely made me happy. To top it off, they’re healthy. I can’t think of a reason not to go back for more.
There’s an eat-in space in the shop, and when I visited, they were planning on starting shaved ice with homemade fruit syrup in the summer. Recently, the northern part of Okinawa is getting lively and exciting with so many new places for great food and drinks opening. How about a nice drive to Nakijin Village on your next day off and see what great thing you’ll bump into?
Shima Chubo Kafuu
Address: 334 Nakaoshi, Nakijin Village, Okinawa
Business Hours: Mon-Wed 9:00-20:30 (Last Order @ 20:00),
Other days 9:00-16:30 (Last Order @ 16:00)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko