One Nut Manju

Brand: Rice Shop Stock Company

Cost: 145 yen

Found at: Family Mart


Why do the snacks in Japan still contain whole, boiled chestnuts? It’s not autumn, chestnut season has passed, but still, I try to have a tasty treat and BAM – a chestnut: just sitting there, soggy and soft and smugly unnecessary. The best it can ever hope to achieve is to dampen the effects of too much of something pleasant  – in this case, the extreme sweetness of sweet white bean paste in a Manju bun (steamed, yeasty crust). And it is marginally better than the whole, dried egg yolk that can be found in many similar confections in China. But for me, I just don’t get the appeal. In fact, this whole snack is a bit underwhelming. It’s fine, but between the sickly-sweat white bean paste, the tasteless bun, and the limp chestnut, it’s nothing to write home about. You’re better off risking your luck with a moon cake – because sometimes they have walnuts!

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