Round kintsuba, modeled on the handguard of a sword. Its recipe has remained unchanged since then to today -- wrapping the sweet bean paste in a skin of wheat flour rolled out thinly like a leaf, shaping it roundly, and baking with sesame oil until it releases a savory aroma. In addition to our standard Nadai Kintsuba and Kokuto Kurumi (brown sugar and walnut) Kintsuba, we have seasonal kintsuba products containing a variety of sweet bean pastes made from seasonal ingredients. Please enjoy Eitaro's kintsuba in all four seasons.
Kintsuba of Eitaro, a popular confectioner in the Nihonbashi fish market
In the late Tokugawa period, Eitaro sold kintsuba at a stall to a lot of people gathering in the fish market, which used to be there in Nihonbashi in those days. The big and tasty kintsuba baked by Eitaro gained a good reputation and sold very well. In 1857, he built a small store with a space roughly equal to a six-tatami-mat room where the current Nihonbashi Main Store is located. He changed the trade name from "Izutsuya" to "Eitaro" after his childhood name in appreciation of the people of the Nihonbashi fish market who had loved and given a lot of assistance to him.
Round kintsuba wrapped with a thin wheat skin, the very Edo taste
Our kintsuba has a round shape and is wrapped with a thin wheat skin – just like the first kintsuba made in Edo. Kintsuba is a confection modeled on the handguard of a sword, as its name represents. Therefore, its shape should be round and flat. Before the first kintsuba (literally "gold sword guard") was made, there was a confection called gintsuba (literally "silver sword guard") in Kyoto that was made of sweet bean paste wrapped and baked in a skin of nonglutinous rice. When visiting Edo, the inventor of kintsuba baked gintsuba using wheat flour in place of nonglutinous rice. It came out lightly browned and looked like gold, for which it was named "kintsuba", based on the idea that "gold is better than silver (nonglutinous rice skin”, as people say. This may be another example of the wordplay by the pun-loving people of Edo. In any case, kintsuba was a classical confection of Edo as it appears in a form of witty poetry known as senryu and popular songs, such as "A son of a samurai, wanting to eat kintsuba, just as expected" and " I would eat the kintsuba and sweet potatoes in a roadside canal if they add to my term of service".
Flavor of sesame oil, on an extra-thin skin
Our traditional technique for making kintsuba is to wrap plenty of sweet bean paste with a wheat flour skin about the size of the tip of the little finger into a thin leaf-like cake. The cake is then baked on a copper sheet lightly coated with sesame oil. It is the original taste of Edo, unchanged from when Eitaro baked kintsuba at a stall.
Kintsuba, handed down
The adzuki bean paste of our Nadai Kintsuba is typical of Edo. It is characterized by a sweetness derived from the richness of the adzuki bean. It is made by removing the astringent taste from rare Erimo adzuki beans from Tokachi in such a manner that the original richness remains, soaking them in honey for a night, and kneading the paste carefully so as not to mash the beans entirely.
Seasonal kintsuba made with sweet bean paste original
Seasonal kintsuba products from Eitaro can be enjoyed through the year. In spring, we offer Sakura (cherry) Kintsuba with a faint fragrance of salted cherry petals. In early summer, we make our refreshingly tart Amanatsu (sweet Chinese citron) Kintsuba and, from mid-summer, our Zunda (sweet green soybean paste) Kintsuba stuffed with boiled and mashed green soybeans. Autumn brings our Kuri (chestnut) Kintsuba lavishly made with minced chestnuts, while come winter, it is our Imo (sweet potato) Kintsuba made with soft sweet Anno potatoes, and our Goma (sesame) Kintsuba that is richly flavored with black sesame seeds.