Kakizome & 一六タルト


I enjoy learning kanji, in a masochistic kind of way, but lately I am starting to wonder if I'll ever graduate from, say, reading the ingredients on the back of instant egg soup packets. There are just so many kanji to learn, and so few spare hours in the day. No surprise, then, that I botched my New Year's calligraphy attempt at Mamecha café in Berlin last week.
Maybe it's just a challenge that I'm not meant to overcome in this lifetime.

I feel similarly about sponge cake.
Particularly castella, the very soft yet densely-crumbed Japanese sponge derived from a Spanish or Portuguese recipe in Nagasaki quite a few centuries ago. There are many recipes I'm willing to attack in the name of creative reconstruction, but castella is not one of them. There just wouldn't be any point in creating a cake that was anything less than pristine and box-fresh.

I've been doing Japanese night classes lately, and tonight our teacher served up pieces of an Ichi Roku Taruto cake that she'd bought when visiting her parents over new years. The rolled sponge was like a next level castella.
Flavoured with yuzu citrus and rolled with azuki bean paste, its unearthly uniform perfection was like a fleeting dream: the essence of everything beautiful that we will never quite find the time for.


    This comment has been removed by the author.


    Oh yum, isn't it 一六タルト?
    Maybe your teacher is from Ehime/Shikoku...

    I think there are 3,000 regularly used kanji characters, and thought most of the basic ones are taught in grade school... but actually, it is just a little over 1,000 to be learned in grade school. Learn 3 new kanji's a day and you're done in less than a year!



    ah thanks ed! I'll change that.

    Learned the basic kanji at Uni - useful for place names, recipes, food packets etc but can't read one paragraph of a novel without referring to a dictionary every two seconds!

    I'm now trying to learn (and re-learn) 5 a day...using mnemonics & flip cards for practice. But def can't make time for it every day: need about an hour to properly internalise 5 new kanji (abstract concepts or kanji to do with finance or war are especially hard to remember)

    Then there's the challenge of remembering the ones I learned last month (or yesterday). my memory is like an old sieve left out in the rain and gone rusty..
    I have the brain of a geriatric goldfish!
    but I will persevere.. this sisyphean task should be good for keeping the brain agile into old age... :-)


    Oh, maybe check with your teacher next time for sure, am curious.
    There are many versions like castella (while the big two castella old school's are Fukusa-ya and Bunmeido), the most famous Taruto is Ichi Roku Taruto, but there are similar ones under generic name Taruto.

    Did it come in a box like this?

    It is an awkward usage of the word taruto, because even in Japanese context usually taruto refers to those crusty tarts filled with fruits, like French tartes.

    I learned about it only because I encountered it in Shikoku on a school trip. I think Itami Juzo's TV commercials aired only in Shikoku or the surroundings.

    Kanji's pretty crazy to acquire as a foreign language I guess... how annoying it is that one kanji has multiple pronunciations!


Blogger Templates by Blog Forum