Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Taste 20 Types Of Red Bean Buns At Andesu Matoba Bakery In Asakusa!
Written by Eri Okubo
Andesu Matoba is a bakery with a long tradition in Asakusa, where you can find twenty different types of anpan buns. In this article, we will feature five recommended types of anpan buns visitors to Japan should really check out!
Anpan is a sweet bun filled with anko red bean paste. It is a classic bun for the Japanese, but it isn't too well known outside of Japan. A great place to experience tasting a variety of flavors of anpan is located in Tokyo's popular sightseeing spot, Asakusa. Today we would like to introduce Andesu Matoba. Andesu Matoba is a historical bakery that carries nearly twenty types of anpan along with other sixty types of products. From the standard smooth red bean paste or the chunky red bean paste filling, they also carry unique anpan with sweet potato filling, zunda green bean filling or even melon bun anpan. With so many variations, it's no wonder that everybody likes them!
Andesu Matoba faces the intersection of Kototoi Street near Sensoji Temple. Look for the somewhat retro looking store sign with a picture of a cute girl. On the shop window, you will see the long list of names that makes you want to stop and read what's written.
Inside the shop, there are many types of delicious looking buns and rolls displayed on the shelves. Along with the classic anpan buns, they also carry loaves of bread, sweet and savory buns, sandwiches, drinks, butter and jam. It may be a good idea to pick up a few and go to a nearby park for an outdoor lunch.
A Baker Met a Red Bean Paste Maker
Andesu Matoba first opened its doors in 1980. The first owner and creator came from a family that made red bean paste, while his wife came from a family of bakers. Therefore, the son of a red bean paste shop and the daughter of a baker met and opened a bakery that focused on red bean buns. It almost sounds like a fairytale, doesn't it?
The red bean paste used in all the anpan uses a historical recipe from the Matoba red bean factory, that has been passed down since 1923. In the display case next to the cash register, you can find chunky red bean paste, smooth red bean paste, candied beans and a variety of bean pastes that are also available for purchase.
5 Anpan Buns Recommended By MATCHA!
All the anpan buns in Andesu Matoba are made by the workers of the shop. Along with the classic best seller, the smooth red bean paste anpan, they also carry anpan buns with a melon bun crust or even seasonal ones such as cherry blossom bean paste anpan. You would have to go yourself to see the great variety of buns they have. This time, we will pick out five of our favorites just to give you an idea. We have selected the smooth red bean paste anpan, herbal rice cake anpan, pumpkin anpan, melon bun anpan and the coffee anpan.
This is the kusa dango anpan (160 yen with tax), which is a bun that contains the yomogi herb and has a red bean and gyuhi (*1) filling. It is a bun that reminds people of the texture of the classic Japanese "kusa dango" herbal rice cake. The herbal fragrance and the green colored bun really catches the interest of visitors from abroad.
*1 Gyuhi: a Japanese confectionery made using rice flour and sugar as a base. The chewy texture is the main trait.
The pumpkin anpan (160 yen with tax) has white bean paste mixed with pumpkin. With a slight sweetness, it is almost like a cake. When we had our Canadian staff member try it, they thought the flavor reminded them of Thanksgivings at home!
This appears to be an ordinary melon bun but when you cut it in half, you will find the "uguisu bean paste" made with green pea inside. This is also 160 yen with tax. With the crispy texture of melon bun and the sweetness of the uguisu bean paste, it is a tasty specialty you can only taste at Andesu Matoba.
The coffee anpan (160 yen with tax) has smooth bean paste with coffee and whipped cream. According to the manager, he refers to it as being an "edible cafe au lait". The bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the smooth bean with the whipped cream make a great match. There are also other buns such as chestnut paste bun, two bean paste bun, homemade egg sandwich, Siberia (*2) and many other original buns at Andesu Matoba. Why not visit and try some buns you can only find here? For product and event information, it is best to check their Facebook page.
*2 Siberia: a Japanese bun with red bean paste or yokan sandwiched between castella. Castella is a type of sponge cake and yokan is a Japanese sweet bean jelly.