Kyoto is famous for a confectionery known as yatsuhashi 八ッ橋, made from glutinous rice flour (jōshinko 上新粉), sugar and other flavorings. Baked yatsuhashi, shaped in strips and flavored with cinnamon, are very popular since they have a long shelf-life. However, equally popular is the unbaked form known as nama-yatsuhashi 生八ッ橋, typically shaped into triangles. The dough is only lightly flavored, and unlike the baked version, it is filled, most commonly with an 餡 paste made from azuki beans.

A Long-Standing Kyoto Confectionery Shop

For over half a century, Otabe has been selling their epynomous brand of nama-yatsuhashi, as well as baked yatsuhashi and other sweets in Kyoto. Now operated by Bijuu Co., Ltd., Otabe is one of Kyoto's long-standing confectionery shops and quite famous in the city. In addition to Western-style cookies and cakes, they offer both plain cinnamon and chocolate-coated baked yatsuhashi, and of course, Otabe filled with various types of an according to the season (for example, now they have chestnut and purple yam versions).

Ruby Chocolate Otabe

Now, Otabe is reinventing itself with a new line of Otabe featuring red ruby chocolate. As you may recall when we covered Kit Kat's ruby chocolate debut last year, ruby chocolate is the first new natural color of chocolate in over 80 years, after white chocolate. Nestlé struck a deal with the world’s largest cocoa processing company, Barry Callebaut, giving them exclusive rights for six months to the brand new product. Now that this period is over, other companies can also acquire it.

Otabe collaborated with Barry Callebaut to offer a completely new type of Otabe featuring red ruby chocolate.

After a long development period in which they tried various recipes and blends, they succeeded in creating a product combining the rich and fruity taste of red chocolate with the delicious chewy texture of nama-yatsuhashi, so they are proud to finally offer their "Ruby Chocolate Otabe" to the public.

The packaging shines with foil printed with a traditional asanoha 麻の葉 hemp-leaf pattern, making it a beautiful gift idea.

Product Information

  • Selling Period: October 11th, 2019 to early May, 2020
  • Name: ルビーショコラのおたべ | Ruby Chocolate Otabe
  • Price: 660 JPY (excl. tax) for box of 10
  • Freshness guaranteed for 9 days from manufacture date
  • Available: Kyoto Station, tourist spots throughout Kyoto City, etc.
  • Website: Otabe

By - Ben K.