Kuzumochi: Kanto-Style vs. Kansai-Style Kuzu Mochi
Several types of Wagashi (traditional Japanese confections) use kudzu (arrowroot) starch as the main ingredient, and as I wrote before, Kuzukiri (葛きり) is among them.
Kuzukiri Noodles with Kuromitsu Syrup
Kuzukiri is almost tasteless, so when the noodles come as a dessert, we usually put some Kuromitsu (黒蜜) brown sugar syrup before eating and sometimes dust Kinako (きな粉) roasted soybean flour.
Similar to Kuzukiri, Kuzu Mochi is a Wagashi confection made from kudzu starch, typically eaten with Kuromitsu and Kinako.
But in addition, one more type of Kuzumochi exists in Japan, which consists of fermented wheat starch.
Kansai-Style Kuzumochi (葛餅)
Specifically, like Kuzukiri noodles, the former Kuzu Mochi uses kudzu flour, sugar, and water as its main ingredients.
This type, written as 葛餅 using Kanji characters, is commonly eaten in Western Japan, including the Kansai region around Osaka.
The Kansai-style Kuzumochi has a translucent milky white color, shaped like a cube or rectangle. It is jiggly like jelly but somewhat chewy.
We usually enjoy this type with Kuromitsu and Kinako, but some variants, including Yuzu Kuzumochi (柚子葛餅) flavored with Yuzu citrus juice, are eaten as they are.
Incidentally, Kuzu Manju (葛饅頭) is a kind of Kansai-version Kuzumochi filled with sweet Azuki red bean paste.
Kanto-Style Kuzumochi (久寿餅)
葛餅 and 久寿餅 have the same reading in Japanese, Kuzu Mochi, but these treats differ in some respects.
As mentioned above, this Kuzu Mochi (久寿餅) consists of wheat starch fermented by lactic acid bacteria.
While the Kansai-style Kuzumochi (葛餅) is widely available around the country, this one can only be seen in the limited area around Tokyo.
The Kanto-style one has a distinctive taste, known as the only fermented Wagashi. But as with the Kansai style, the cake is usually topped with Kuromitsu and Kinako.
By the way, the birthplace of Kanto-style Kuzumochi is Funabashiya (船橋屋), an old-established confectionery shop founded in 1805 in Kameido, Tokyo.
Shop Information: Funabashiya (船橋屋)
Address: 3-2-14 Kameido, Koto-Ku Ward, Tokyo (MAP)
Open throughout the week: 9:00 to 18:00