Wednesday, February 11, 2009

hanabatake bokujo nama caramel

Okay, so let's take a semi-break from chocolate and fly on over to Hokkaido.

The Hanabatake Bokujo's (literally flower field ranch) nama caramel (soft caramel) are the latest craze in Hokkaido (well, actually all over Japan). Whenever this company is featured at various department stores in Japan, they sell out in a snap.

These candies are made by hand, even wrapped by hand, and are really soft but they do not stick to your teeth when you bite into them.

Friday, before meeting up with our tour, Satoshi and I had arrived in Sapporo early. Since it was too early for lunch, I "convinced" Satoshi that we should have some dessert.

The place was pretty busy but we got a table at the Hanabatake Bokujo Cafe rather quickly and ordered their caramel set. This came with a slice of caramel rolled cake, caramel souffle (like a whipped cheesecake), a piece of caramel, a piece of strawberry caramel, caramel sauce to spread on two crackers or to put into your coffee, a piece of caramel coated with white chocolate, and your choice of drink. 1470 yen (about US$14.70). (Actually we were lucky because the set originally only consists of the rolled cake or souffle not both. The only reason we were able to get both in our set was due to a special for the Sapporo Ice Festival.)

I ordered one set with coffee and another coffee for Satoshi. Satoshi said he didn't want any dessert but ate his half very willingly. The cake was quite dry, the souffle was really light. I liked the strawberry flavored caramel as there were bits of strawberry in it. We both agreed that putting the caramel sauce into your coffee was a no-no and that spreading it onto the cracker was really delicious.

I can see why the Japanese are crazy for these, they are good, not too buttery or too sweet, I'm glad we were able to try them. As we left the cafe, the line to get in was around the corner and also on the 2nd floor (where they have a little shop), another line had massively formed to buy the caramels (we were both glad we weren't in either of the lines) (see the picture above, the guy wearing the cowboy hat is a store clerk who is indicating the end of the line. These people were waiting to be able to go into the shop for the 11:00 delivery of caramels).

p.s. Today is a national holiday here (National Foundation Day) so Satoshi has the day off.

15 comments:

shar said...

That looks so delish :)
How long have they been making these caramels ? The set sounded so decadently lovely !

mmm

K and S said...

I think they started last year, Shar, they were originally making cheese. The set was a nice way to try everything :)

Take care.
Kat

Lori said...

I was just going to say I don't really like caramel because it sticks to my teeth, but then you mentioned that this one doesn't. I think in this case, I'd have to give it a try! Enjoy Hokkaido, wish I was there too! :)

Lori said...

I just got it that you guys are probably back already. :) What was the temperature like?

Lynne said...

Glad you got to spend some down time with S and what a nice way to spend it!

KirkK said...

Wow, I'm wondering how long until it hits Hii? Have a nice holiday!

Jenster said...

Yum ... I bet I'd like these because I love caramels but can't stand the way they stick to my teeth. I would definitely wait in that long line for them!

2kamuela47 said...

Hey Kat! I'm more a caramel person than a chocolate one. Love the post and the pictures. Take care!

shar said...

Yums...how fun that they decided to do caramels , I think that the quality of their milk must make the caramels extra rich and yummy.

could cheese flav caramels be next ? :)

Rowena said...

That is quite some crowd that you shot a photo of....which can only mean that the caramels are worth the effor to get them.

A thing about Hokkaido...is that where the red potmarron squash originated? The name sounds familiar.

K and S said...

sometimes it was 0C (32F) but for the most part it was in the minus, Lori!

Thanks Lynne, it was definitely a great time for both of us :)

Hmm, hopefully it will be brought to Hawaii soon, Kirkk :)

I would say they would be worth the wait, Jenster :)

Thanks Laura, I hope caramel is not on your list of "no eats".

Milk and butter is wonderful in Hokkaido, Shar :)

Hmm, wouldn't doubt it Rowena, Hokkaido has a lot of ono veggies!

Take care everyone.
Kat

Debinhawaii said...

Yum--the caramel set looks delicious as do the soft caramels.

K and S said...

Thanks Deb, the rolled cake was a bit dry but everything else was delicious!

Take care.
Kat

Kulaya said...

Hi! I am going to tokyo and kyoto in a couple of weeks. Do you know of ANYWHERE in those places I can get this specific caramel? I've been trying to search for secret tips on how to get them and can't seem to find any. Thanks for any help you can offer.

K and S said...

Hey Kulaya,
They have several shops in Tokyo.
I will list one of them.

Hanabatake Bokujo
5-8-5 Ginza
New Ginza Building
Take Tokyo Metro and get off at Ginza station, go out of exit A5, it is about 1 minute from that exit.

Take care and enjoy your trip :)
Kat

p.s. if you can read Japanese their website is here.