Christmas is over, and the New Year is fast approaching, which means, although we have colder days to come, before we know it the start of Spring will be with us. In Japan, the change of the seasons are a pretty big deal, with the Winter-to-Spring transition even having it’s very own festival – Setsubun – to mark the event.

Typically held on the transition from the final day of Winter to the first day of Spring (in accordance to the old Japanese calendar), Setsubun is accompanied by a number of traditions which were originally intended to act as “cleansing” for the arrival of the Lunar New Year.
These traditions consist of “purifying” the home and oneself through the act of Mamemaki and eating a giant sushi roll – known as ehomaki – in silence to welcome in good luck.

Ehomaki rolls or “Lucky Direction Rolls” are long futomaki sushi rolls filled with seven lucky ingredients that, according to custom, must be fully eaten in silence whilst facing the auspicious direction of the year. The direction for 2022 is projected to be North-northwest. (You can read more about ehomaki and their interesting origins here.)

Though not an overly difficult concept to wrap one’s head around, for those of us with a bit of a sweet tooth, the task of consuming a whole savoury ehomaki roll can be a surprisingly tough one. That’s why this “ehomaki roll cake”, at Delica & Lounge Coffret in Yokohama’s Royal Park Hotel, is the perfect alternative.

Resembling a traditional ehomaki sushi roll, the Ehomaki Roll Cake sees a moist and fluffy orange liqueur flavoured sponge encase slices of strawberry, orange and kiwi. To complete the look the roll cake is wrapped within a black cocoa crepe, echoing the seaweed wrap of a traditional sushi roll.

Though we're not quite sure the cake can be eaten following the same directional traditions of Setsubun, the marriage of flavours between bittersweet cocoa and refreshing fruit offer a new and somewhat unusual way to enjoy the holiday.

Ehomaki Roll Cake
Purchase dates: Tuesday 1st February – Thursday 3rd February 2022
Sales location: Delica & Lounge "Coffret", 1st floor Yokohama Royal Park Hotel
Store hours: 11:00 - 20:00
Price: 500 yen (Size approx. 11 cm in length)
Reservations / Inquiries: 045-221-1111

By - Connie Sceaphierde.