Today is May 5th. It is a national holiday in Japan and also Boys’ Day there. We put out huge colorful carp fish banners (Koinobori) on tall bamboo poles and let them “swim” in the blue sky, we display an impressive samurai warrior’s helmet (Kabuto) in the living room, and of course we eat the traditional Boys’ Day feast to celebrate the best season of the year.
I still have many memories of Boys’ Day from my childhood. The most special food of the day is called “Chimaki” – sweet red beans in the center of sweet sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves and steamed. It looks a little bit like Mexican tamales, but the taste and flavor is very unique and different. It is said that warriors carried it onto the battle field in ancient China.
My life has been here in California for a long time, and nobody makes Chimaki for me anymore. Plus I became quite westernized. Nowadays fresh strawberries, dark chocolate and Sauternes are my favorites, and go very well together. Their taste, flavor and aromas are fantastic if you get the best quality, which won’t set you back too much. And the memory of them on your palate will last forever!
Sauternes is a very delicious dessert wine made from Semillon grapes in Bordeaux, France. It is one of the finest dessert wines in the world, and known for its taste, flavor and aroma.
So, indulge and celebrate the best day of spring with three simple, memorable ingredients.
This is my wonderful kitchen assistant Masumi san. She always executes everything exactly as I ask.