Since its launch back in September of 2018, the sheet-like “sliced yokan” from Kyoto’s Kameya Yoshinaga has become a bit of a breakfast sensation, with more than 330,000 successful sales having been made.

The sheets take their inspiration from ogura toast, a sweet dish hailing from Aichi prefecture which sees thickly sliced shokupan topped with a dollop of red bean paste (known locally as ogura in Aichi) and a sliver of butter.
In Kameya Yoshinaga’s version the stereotypical glob of ogura gets replaced with a thinly hand-sliced piece of yokan.

Yokan, which is made from red bean paste mixed with agar and sugar, is normally enjoyed in dense gelatin-like blocks. However, Kameya Yoshinaga, who has been leading the way in Japanese confectionery for more than 2 centuries, came up with the idea of slicing it thin and using it as a topping for toast. Each slice is measured out to 2.5mm, which according to the company’s research is the perfect size for producing a rich red bean taste.
The result is a slice of yokan (almost resembling sliced cheese), which, when topped on a piece of bread and popped in the toaster, transforms into a melty masterpiece in just a few short minutes.

Following on from its initial success, Kameya Yoshinaga released a sliced chocolate version in 2021, and now, with the arrival of spring, they’re extending their “sliced yokan” range to include a special limited “spring berry” edition.

The inclusion of this “spring berry” flavour actually goes back to the original release of sliced yokan back in 2018, when one bag contained three flavours: ogura butter, berry and sweet potato.
With ogura butter gaining the upper hand in popularity, it soon became the brand standard. However, the berry flavour was not far behind in votes and the idea to one day develop it as a spring product was born.

The new addition mixes the spring berry flavour with Tamba Dainagon ogura, essentially turning the sheet into a half-and-half where you can enjoy two tastes in one. It is then topped with a square butter mixed with Okinawan salt.
For the best start to the day, pair a plate of sliced yokan toast with a hot mug of tea or coffee.

The slices are currently available at a limited number of Kameya Yoshinaga stores, but will go on general sale for 594 yen (tax included) at all retail stores and online from the 1st of April 2022.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.