Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The 100th anniversary of pigeon biscuits!!

I'll bet you didn't know that Pigeon Biscuits have now been around for 100 years having been first produced in 1916!  What, you don't know what a pigeon biscuit is?  Neither did most of us but we learned.  Actually pigeon biscuits is one way of referring to them. Another way, maybe more appropriately would be Kamakura Dove Cookies aka Hato Sabure (鳩サブレー)!  They are apparently a specialty of Kamakura. They are produced by the Toshimaya company. They are based upon a cookie that the founder supposedly received from a foreigner. He tried to emulate the cookies and came up with something that was said to taste like a French sable biscuit.  (Sabure is the transliteration into Japanese of sable). The original store was reportedly located near a shrine where children interacted happily with pigeons. This inspired the owner to shape the cookie like the bird and the rest is history. They are hugely popular in Japan and rarely seen in the US unless someone brings them as a souvenir and that is how we came upon them.
Today's treats -what's in the wrapping?
It's a unique yellow tin with a bird image!
Brought to you by one of our colleagues from Japan.
And inside are four slots of the famous cookies!
Each one individually wrapped!
They are very crunchy and buttery and apparently only four ingredients are included butter, flour, eggs, sugar and nothing else. So they are like a cross between a shortbread and a vanilla wafer!  They were quite good and we learned something very special about Kamakura today. 
To balance off the cookies we had some spicy peanuts.  We had had these before and they were a bit of a hit so our colleague ordered some more online.  These are regular peanuts with a few kinds of hot peppers. One is like the regular cayenne red peppers and another is this small green thing that slightly numbs the tongue if you eat it alone. The Japanese refer to it as mountain pepper or Sanshoo sansho.  All together it makes for an interesting nut treat.
Also had a return of some uniquely spiced peanuts from Taiwan!
The small green things are the Sanshoo. It tingles the tongue when you eat it!

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