Foods, Sightseeing, and Experience in Tsukuba, JAPAN
Botamochi is one of Japanese traditional confections and popular with people regrardless of the age. Botamochi is covered with sweet bean paste and made from mixture of glutinous rice (Mochigome) and ordinary cooking rice (Uruchimai). In old times, sweet bean paste was alternative ingredient to sugar to put sweet taste on foods. It was often used for the purpose while sugar was so expensive and was not easy to get by ordinary people. Botamochi is also called as Ohagi. I do not know the difference although the difference would derive from the area people live or the season people have it. If you are not Japanese, you can use either name because both are available even if people usually use different one from your choice.
You can see three colored Ohagi in the picture, dark brown (Tsubuan), green (Zunda), and light red (Sakura) tastes. Ohagi are usually the dark brown one. The shop would prepare different colored ones to let people’s eyes enjoy. Green paste that is described as Zunda in the label is made from green soybeans (Edamame) or broad beans (Soramame) instead of sweet beans. I do not know about the light red paste because the label does not have the information.
I think Japanese confection is one of healthy sweets because it has relatively lesser butter and oil. It really goes well with a little bitter taste of Japanese green tea. Do you have any favorite confection?