At this time of year, many Japanese are enjoying the delicious taste of waguri 和栗 - Japanese chestnut. Since they are only available in the autumn months, they are highly coveted in both sweet and savoury forms.

One of the most popular ways to eat chestnuts in Japan is in a Mont Blanc, a dessert in which a blend of pureed chestnut cream and whipped cream is crowned with a sugared chestnut. Until recently, the French dessert was even more popular in Japan than it was in its country of origin, although it is currently experiencing a revival and is trendy again.

Kuriza is a waguri Mont Blanc specialty store in Kyoto where you can enjoy your favorite Mont Blanc in an elegant space inspired by the traditions and culture of Japan’s ancient capital.

What makes Kuriza particularly appealing is that the chef will prepare your Mont Blanc in front of you, so that you can marvel at the culinary techniques before enjoying the delicious, mellow taste of Japanese chestnut.

Kuriza offers five types of waguri. Their signature dish is the Uji Matcha Mont Blanc (pictured above), a Kyoto-style Mont Blanc exclusive to Kuriza that blends the rich flavours of chestnuts and green tea.

Enjoy the sensation as the texture of the extraordinarily fine paste begins to melt on your tongue and delight in the fine balance struck between astringency and sweetness. This culinary gem will set you back a mere ¥1,980 (tax included).

Another perennial favourite among the autumn nut lovers of ancient Kyoto is Waguri's Kyoto-style Mont Blanc, which uses Japanese chestnuts gathered from all over Japan and combines them with sponge, marron cream, meringue and fresh cream. The moist texture of the sponge and the crunchy texture of the meringue enhance the taste of the chestnut paste most pleasingly. This dish too costs only ¥1,980 (tax included).

Kuriza Wagumi’s third offering is a seasonal fruit and waguri parfait, a symphony of falling leaf flavours, which costs an eminently reasonable ¥2,200, including tax.

Or how about taking your tasting equipment to a Montblanc Gelato? This gastronomic wonder is only available to take away customers, which means you have to wait until you get home before reveling in the sublime combination of Japanese chestnuts, chocolate chips and salty milk. It can be ‘yours, all yours’ for just ¥1,188, including tax.

You will find the Kuriza Waguri Mont Blanc specialty store at 300 Naraya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi. The shop is open 365 days a year, from 11:00 until 22:00 (please note that last orders are at 21:00). You can call them on 075-221-8188.

By - George Lloyd.