In the spring of each year, the streets of Japan dress in pink with cherry blossoms, known as Sakura in a unique, rare, beauty of nature within the gray concrete walls of small cities and villages and big metropolises alike.
Sadly, the rest of the world is deprived of this beautiful image and the taste of the Sakura flower and leaves. Yes, it’s not just a flower to enjoy seeing, it’s edible, and can go very well with tea and pastries, making the sakura sweet tea a hidden jam for non-Japanese tourists.
If you wonder, what does Sakura Taste like? Then, it’s a heavenly flavor, which you’ll get to know in the following lines.
What is Sakura?
Ranking as one of the most beautiful trees in the world, the Sakura, or cherry blossom tree is a type of cherry tree that’s located in southeast Asia. The Sakura tree does not produce fruits as its tree family does, instead, it blossoms with pink or white flowers each spring for only a week or two. Making the sight of Sakura leaves is sadly breathtaking.
The cherry blossom flower can be argued as an informal symbol for Japan. The flower itself represents good luck, love, and springtime. Also, it’s a reminder of the mortality of human beings, as the cherry blossoms bloom for a short period but produce a lot of beauty.
The traditions in Japan insist on going on a picnic under the Sakura in the blooming season, commonly known as Hanami. This tradition forces the Japanese to track the blooming of the Sakura, as it seeks warmth, the blooming starts in the far south in Okinawa in January, then goes up to Kyoto, and Tokyo by April each year.
Today, the cherry blossom is a tourist attraction in Japan, as it celebrates each spring the Sakura festival which attracts thousands of people from all over the globe to be lost in the beauty of the tree.
However, the Sakura is not only for the eyes, but you can enjoy it too with your tongue buds. It can be used with tea, pastries, and other foods. Want to know more? Read the following.
What does Sakura taste like?
Well, it’s a little bit complicated to explain what Sakura tastes like. But in very simple words, the taste of Sakura is a mix of a soft flavor of cherries with a bit of bitterness and sweetness. It’s the taste of spring and a flower.
Though, the taste gets deep and noticeable with pickling. It requires flowers that are on the verge of blooming after they have been washed, sprinkled with salt, and squeezed of excess water. They are soaked in Ume-Plum vinegar which preserves the color of the flower and dries them out. This process gave the blossoms a salty, sour taste with a flowery touch.
The Sakura flavor left a huge impact on Japanese cuisine, the leaves and flower of the Sakura flower contain an important amount of vanilla-like subtract named Coumarin. Which is a necessary flavor to make heavenly-tasting ice cream, teas like Sakura sencha and Sakura-yu, and cakes, and it can be found on the Starbucks menu.
Now after you have a rough idea of what Sakura tastes like, let’s dive deep into some of the best recipes you can make, and taste with Sakura.
What does Sakura tea taste like?
The countless dishes you can make with Sakura flavor make it impossible to taste them all in a lifetime, let alone list them in a single article. But we got you, we picked and selected the best 3 most tried Sakura flavor “stuff” when visiting Japan, or just at your local Japanese restaurant.
Sakura Mochi is a type of Japanese confectionery, made of the sweet pink rise and usually filled with sweet red bean paste, and wrapped in a pickled salty cherry leaf. This dish is usually eaten on the 3rd of march each year as a celebration tradition of girl’s day. It can be found throughout the spring season in Japan.
It’s like eating Sushi rice, but with sweet and bitter earthly flavors that cause fireworks in your mouth. The best part about this is you can make it at home if you have the right ingredients following this video.
Can you remember the distinguished sweet on a stick you used to get as a kid in festivals? Well, Hanami Dango is the Japanese equivalent.
Hanami Dango is a springtime ball of mochi in mainly three flavors, of course, Sakura is the main one, Plain, and matcha or Yomogi, a member o the sunflower family that is the young Japanese mugwort.
This treat is the most common type of Sakura-flavored sweet in Japan during the cherry blossom season. But, you should be always aware, since some Sakura balls are colored but not flavored. So before purchasing it make sure to get the flavored ones.
The most popular Sakura candy. It’s a cake, it can be found all year, and it’s Sakura flavor, what could be better than that?
Well, the Sakura Castella, is a fluffy, moist cake flavored in Sakura that can be found in Japan during the whole year, except for the rare flavors and special that exist only during a specific season. The best part about Sakura Castella is you can get it with edible gold. We are not joking, and it’s so affordable among other golden sweets.
For example, you can get an ice cream with a gold leaf for only 8 dollars. And let’s not forget to mention that Sakura Castella can be cut into different shapes and molds like butterflies and flowers, adding a tasty sight to the tasty flavor.
Finally, Sakura is a Japanese symbol of love and mortality, it’s also a source of unique flavors and dishes that deserve to be tasted when visiting Japan, or the local Japanese restaurant in your town. The school year also in the islands of samurai starts in the spring with the blossom of cherry trees, making the students the same as tourists falling in love with what that country has to offer.