The men look rather pleased and ready to titillate your taste buds.
Title: Hakuouki Castella / Kasutera-yaki (薄桜鬼 かすてら焼きタリア)
Price: 1,000 Yen (w/tax)
Available: July 2011 (expiry: 20 Sep 2011)
Description: Custard-filled castella. 12 pieces.
For knowledge sake, here’s more information about kasutela, which is a type of Japanese confectionery. Some information from wiki.
Castella (カステラ Kasutera) is a popular Japanese sponge cake made of sugar, flour, eggs, and starch syrup, very common at festivals and as a street food.
Now a specialty of Nagasaki, the cake was brought by way of Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. The name is derived from Portuguese Pão de Castela, meaning “bread from Castile”. Castella cake is usually sold in long boxes, with the cake inside being approximately 27cm long. It is somewhat similar to Madeira cake, also associated with Portugal, but its closest relative is pão-de-ló, also a Portuguese cake.
Note that there are similar types of sponge cakes named after the same fashion, in French: Pain d’Espagne, in Italian: Pan di Spagna, in Portuguese: Pão de Espanha, in Bulgarian: пандишпан, in Greek: Pantespani, in Turkish: Pandispanya (Castile is a former kingdom of Spain comprising its central provinces, thus Pain d’Espagne and other variants are quasi-synonymous to “bread from Castile”).
Animate Japan exclusive product. Although the illustrations are not new, the design of the package is beautiful and classy. The guys in their uniforms are droolsome :D~ The box is bigger than I expected. Slightly smaller than an A4 page.
Back view of the box. Lovely sakura motifs and illustration. The sakura, or cherry blossom is very symbolic in the Hakuouki game as it is set during the turbulent Bakumatsu (Edo) period where many lives were lost.
More from wiki:
In Japan, cherry blossoms (桜 or 櫻; さくら) symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence, and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware. The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga. The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware.
Front and back of the box.
Ingredients! Oo~ flower pa-suto (?), eggs, sugar, flour, honey and various chemicals ^^;; Expiry date: 20 Sep 2011. Yep, it made it to me on time.
The package was easy to open :D I didn’t destroy the pretty paper.
Package contents! :D
These illustrations in the instructions are always so cute. It’s telling us that if the sealed plastic bag was opened, then its likely that the contents may be spoiled.
The two stickers included with each box, measuring 8 cm x 6 cm each.
Looks appetising! Although the cover photo looks much more beautiful.
Front and back of the castella. It measures about 5 cm x 2 cm thick.
How lovely! Sakura flower motif branded on the top of the castella.
Side/back view. The aroma of this Japanese sponge cake smells yummy.
Took one bite. YUM.
Taste verdict! It is DELISH~ The sponge cake was light and aromatic. The custard was delicately sweet and has a light creamy texture. I made myself some hot tea and proceeded to devour six of them in one sitting ^^;; you can forget about weight loss here. But then again, it was my lunch so I shouldn’t feel too guilty, right? *sheepish*
If you come across this product at the store, I definitely recommend getting it. At 1,000 yen, the price is reasonable for 12 of these yummy Japanese style castella (if you don’t consider the proxy/shipping fees, that is) Little wonder that they sold out rather quickly at Animate Japan store.