So I thought I’d do some… er… research before FoodEx, and I thought it would be very important to know how these two cakes taste.
They came from the patisserie Gerard Mulot in the basement of Shinjuku’s Takashimaya.
I can report that both surpassed my expectations. The caramel and apricot tart or flan on the left was pushing the envelope on the caramelization, just to the point where the caramelization could go no further without disaster striking. and was surprisingly light on the sugar. (As the homeless culinary appreciation sensei in Tampopo explained, French cuisine is a constant battle with burns). The other cake featured two layers of chocolate ganache or mousse atop a small layer of chocolate sponge cake, covered with the intense chocolate you can see in the photo. It was seriously chocolate… minimal sweetness, very complex. I just wish I could get this in Seattle.
While I was at it I picked up some yuzu candy and yuzu seeds, and tried some tonyu gelato. Lunch involved some ordinary respectable pizza margherita and kinoko cream soup.
I also chatted with someone else in the department store who works for a rising specialty food company in Yamagata, and she put me in touch with their head office. I may have the chance to meet with them before leaving town. This company makes some really nice products with various fruits; it clearly focuses on a domestic audience, but might have some potential in upscale New York and San Francisco supermarkets or department store shops if the wholesale price is right.