Zunda - Tohoku's sweet green treat

Every region of Japan has its own specialities when it comes to food: seemingly endless amounts of ramen varieties, regionally unique soba dishes, various okonomiyaki style and of course myriads of matcha flavored candies and sweets creations.
 
But did you know that Tohoku has a sweet treat that is very unique and extremely popular? A sweet treat that could even potentially count as "healthy food"; because let's be honest, who doesn't like to indulge in sweets and also feel that you're doing something good for your body and health?
 
When you travel to Sendai you will immediately be confronted with this particular sweet treat as you will see it virtually everywhere in Sendai JR Station. It's delicious, it's green, it's Zunda!
 
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Zunda is a lightly sweet paste made from edamame, soy beans, which has a crunchy peanut-butter like consistency and is often served as a topping for fresh, warm mochi. You might be surprised to hear that edamame is the main ingredient for this sweet treat. But those little green power beans can do more than compliment a nice cool beer as a tasty snack. Edamame are rich in protein, as well as Vitamin C and A. Talk about a healthy treat!
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The little green beans are steamed and then peeled one by one before they get ground to create that satisfying crunchy texture. If you don't shy away from spending a bit of time popping edamame beans out of their skin (not just the pod!), it's actually quite easy to recreate this Tohoku speciality at home!
 

But Zunda is not only used for mochi deserts; in Sendai you can get Zunda shakes and ice cream, Zunda rollcakes, cheesecake-style Zunda pastries, Zunda taiyaki and manju, even Zunda flavored KitKats, caramels, chocolates, cookies..... There is a whole Zunda paradise out there, waiting for you to be explored!
 
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Sendai is the unofficial capital of Zunda, so if you want to embark on a little soybean infused feast, this is the place to be! A popular shop and restaurant that sells Zunda related pastries and deserts is Zunda Saryo, which has one branch conveniently located at Sendai JR Station. Their website can be found here:
 
So whether you want to indulge in some Tohoku treat, try out a different type of typical Japanese sweets or just want to get a unique gift for your loved ones: 
Give beans a chance and enjoy some Zunda!
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Happy adventuring!

Nami Komorebispirit