I treated myself to an afternoon tea of Sencha with Higashi. The Higashi sweets come from Ikkoan, the artisinal Japanese pastry shop in Myogadani, Tokyo.
Higashi is a sweet made of a fine sugar called Wasanbon. I can't compare Higashi to any other sweet because it is neither a hard candy nor a cookie. Higashi is made in a variety of molds which are chosen according to season and occasion. Mr. Mizukami, the Owner chef, took us to his kitchen studio to show us how these sweets and bean cakes were made. Some of the Higashi molds were very old. When you put a Higashi in your mouth and gently bite into it, it crumbles and dissolves on your tongue like melting snow. Higashi is served with tea to complement the flavor of the beverage but never to overwhelm it. That's a challenge for the pastry chef.
Higashi molds at Ikkoan. Some of the molds are very old.