Two members of Japan’s pulse trade speak with IFT about their country’s confectionary use of dry beans.
In Japan, as in many Asian countries, beans are primarily consumed in sweet foods. Adzuki and baby lima beans are the most commonly used. The beans are made into jelly or paste and then used as a pastry filling in such popular foods as anpan (buns filled with bean paste) daifuku (a rice cake filled with bean paste), manjū (a pastry filled with bean paste), monaka (wafers with bean jam spread), and sakuramochi (bean paste wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf), to name just a few. There is even ice cream made from adzuki beans.
To learn more about Japan’s confectionary use of beans, IFT spoke with Kunichiro Amakasu of Dah Chong Hong (Japan) Ltd. and Naoki Hashimoto of Aiwa Co., Ltd. Dah Chong Hong (Japan) is wholly owned by Dah Chong Hong Holdings, a business conglomerate based in Hong Kong, China, in which CITIC holds a 60% interest. Amakasu has been involved in Dah Chong Hong’s pulse business for 22 years and was recently invited to join the CICILS/GPC board. Naoki Hashimoto is the President of Nagoya-based Aiwa Co., Ltd., a company that purchases most of its adzuki beans from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Both Hashimoto and Amakasu are members of the Japan Pea and Bean Importers Association.