Monday, March 7, 2011
Looking out the window at the grey, rainy/snowy day, it is hard to imagine that sakura (cherry blossom) season is right around the corner. But within three weeks or so they should be in full bloom. Predictions for their peak dates (they vary in accordance with location) are probably already in the media someplace. Like everyone else, I await their arrival eagerly and hope that I will not miss them entirely while on spring break back in chilly North America.
In anticipation, I had sakura soba for the first time the other day while out for lunch with a dear friend. Truth be told, I had never seen these unusual noodles before. When they appeared as a special offering at that rather good sobayasan atop the department store Mitsukoshi Ginza, I could not resist. Though the same thickness and texture as garden variety buckwheat noodles, they were pink! Yes, pink! The taste was essentially unchanged. But my nose did detect an essence of cherry blossom as I daintily slurped the tsuyu soaked strands. An all natural product, the pink color may be attributed to the flower petals added to the basic buckwheat flour mix.