Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Kitchoan, NYC: Bring a Little Bit of Japan Home
We had a party for the respective hockey teams of boy #1 and boy#2 last week. While the cold cuts from Zabar's were quite excellent, the beer selection sublime, and the assorted starchy chips tasty to the 7 to 10 year old crowd, the surprise hit were the cookies brought to us by our friend from Japan (and his son, the defender for the team). Besides being beautifully wrapped (this photo does NOT do justice to how great looking the box was), the cookies themselves were perhaps the best vanilla wafer cookies I have ever eaten. The wafers were light and crisp, and the cream had an excellent texture. Nothing was too sweet. They were great.
Because of this, the boys and I decided to travel to the source: Minamoto Kitchoan. This temple of Japanese sweets is in Rockefeller Center, on 49th Street off 5th Avenue. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful bakeries I have ever been in. They sell a variety of seasonal baked goods. Many of the products were fruit and gelatin based, and the special of the month was in fact a Japanese Cherry encased in an opaque gelatin. For photos see flickr.
In all honesty, my friend chose well. The cookies were the clear favorite of all of us. The other desserts are beautiful, however, and the packaging makes them worth buying for someone even if they tasted like sawdust (which they don't!). If you are looking for an exotic baked good to bring someone, and you are in New York (or any other major wealthy city, as they have lots of branches), you can't go wrong with Kitchoan.