If there's one ingredient that says autumn in many parts of the world, it's surely the chestnut. As the world's 8th largest producer, Japan is no exception.

Many Japanese enjoy chestnuts at this time of year in their original form, either plain roasted (焼き栗 yakiguri or 甘栗 amaguri) or roasted and peeled (むき甘栗 muki-amaguri). In some families, chestnuts are also steamed with rice (栗ご飯 kurigohan), boiled with skins on and seasoned with sugar and soy sauce (栗の渋皮煮 kuri no shibukawa-ni) or peeled, boiled and seasoned with sugar, salt and mirin, and colored yellow with dried gardenia (栗の甘露煮 kuri no kanro-ni).

Moreover, traditional Japanese wagashi shops, as well as Western-style pastry shops, take advantage of chestnuts to create all kinds of delicious sweets.

Mitsukoshi Department Store chestnut sweets collection

Fortunately for those living in the Tokyo area, the Mitsukoshi Department store chain has a wonderful lineup of delectable chestnut sweets in store for you at their Nihombashi and Ginza locations between October 7th and 29th.

A cute, bite-sized chestnut sweet

  • Name (EN): Kuri-Hakurohō, by Kashō Hanami.
  • Name (JP): <菓匠花見>栗白鷺宝
  • Description: A sophisticated kuri-an chestnut paste coated in milk chocolate and shaped into a chestnut.
  • Price: 260 JPY apiece.
  • Available at: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, Main Bldg. B1F and Ginza Mitsukoshi Main Bldg. 2F Wagashi corner

Full of chestnuts in every slice

  • Name (EN): Japanese chestnut cake (newly harvested chestnuts) by Otoemon
  • Name (JP): <足立音衛門>和栗のケーキ(新栗)
  • Description: Using only newly harvested Japanese chestnuts and premium Sanuki Wasanbon sugar, this is a true chestnut lovers' cake with whole chestnuts in every slice.
  • Price: 3,726 JPY (whole cake)
  • Available at: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, Main Bldg. B1F

Delightfully fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth

  • Name (EN): Noji no sato by Kameya Yoshinaga
  • Name (JP): <亀屋良長>野路の里
  • Description: Blending chestnut and shiroan bean paste, this simple yet satisfying sweet with its melt-in-your mouth fluffly texture is a Kyoto favorite.
  • Price: 195 JPY apiece
  • Available at: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, Main Bldg. B1F, Kuriyūan (菓遊庵) and Ginza Mitsukoshi, Main Bldg. 2F, Kuriyūan (菓遊庵)

A Mont Blanc only a fruit parlor could make

  • Name (EN): Japanese chestnut Mont Blanc by Sun Fruits
  • Name (JP): <サン・フルーツ>和栗のモンブラン
  • Description: Sun Fruits, specialists in choosing the sweetest and most aromatic fruits, have blended steamed Japanese chestnuts, almond paste and cream to create a Mont Blanc which fully brings out the sweetness of Japanese chestnuts.
  • Price: 648 JPY apiece
  • Available at: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, Main Bldg. B2F, Sun Fruits

Only the best of the new crop

  • Name (EN): Steamed chestnut yōkan jelly (medium) by Toraya
  • Name (JP): <とらや>栗蒸羊羹(中形)
  • Description: You can expect quality from Toraya, one of Japan's most famous traditional sweets shops. Their steamed chestnut yōkan azuki bean paste jelly only uses the best chestnuts of the new harvest.
  • Price: 2,376 JPY / 1 bar: 310 g (11 oz)
  • Available at: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, Main Bldg. B1F, Toraya

A Franco-Japanese chestnut collaboration

  • Name (EN): Châtaigne (chestnut) by Frédéric Cassel
  • Name (JP): <フレデリック・カッセル>シャテーニュ
  • Enveloped in a crispy pie made with French flour and AOP Montaigu butter, this yearly favorite from French pastry shop Frédéric Cassel contains a whole kanro-ni Japanese chestnut, French chestnut paste and almond cream.
  • Price: 540 JPY apiece (made in Japan)
  • Available at: Ginza Mitsukoshi Main Bldg. 2F, Chocolat

For all the details on this chestnut sweets collection, visit Mitsukoshi's special homepage here.

By - Ben K.