Tea and cake are a perfect pairing for an afternoon snack in many countries. In Japan, kasutera is a popular sponge cake, derived from the Portuguese castela cake. Originally introduced to Japan by Portuguese sailors in the port town of Nagasaki, Kasutera is now a specialty of the city. Soft, spongy and sweet, kasutera cake can be flavored with almost anything… matcha green tea, peach, honey, even gold foil! During the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, it is common to serve sweet treats alongside matcha green tea. Here’s our recipe for a honey-flavored kasutera cake. What flavor will you make?
Mitarashi dango is a delicious treat found in street vendors throughout Japan. Dango are balls of rice flour that take on a dumpling-like consistency when cooked. First they’re boiled and then placed on a skewer to be grilled. Once grilled, they’re covered with the sweet mitarashi sauce, which is made up of soy sauce and sugar. So simple, yet so delicious!
A woman makes Konnyaku dango, made from Konnyaku potatoes, on the street in Japan.
Think you’re skilled with chopsticks? Meet Jiyu, our friend in Tokyo who at the young age of 3, has mastered the art. In Japan… ramen, udon and soba are three popular kinds of noodles kids eat throughout the week. Learn more about these yummy noodles and get our recipe for a kid-friendly for ramen, just like the dish we enjoyed in Tokyo.
Growing up on the east coast, italian ice was a summer dessert staple. If you lived near New York, Ralph’s was your go-to shop. Near Philadelphia? Probably Rita’s. Rhode Island? You’ve definitely had a Del’s Lemonade. No matter where you grew up, you probably had a few Italian ices in your lifetime. While the name may have you believing that italian ice is most popular in Italy, many versions of the icy treat are enjoyed around the world. In Italy, this dessert is known as “granita” and commonly flavored with lemon or coffee. The best part about Italian ice? You can make it almost any flavor you want! It’s super easy to make and delicious to eat. Here, we’re sharing a recipe for our favorite Italian ices. Once your little citizens try it, we bet it will become a summertime staple for your family!
There’s no better companion on a bright, sunny day than a sweet scoop of ice cream or perhaps gelato depending on where you live. Our recent Italian adventures got us thinking about these two great treats. They’re so similar, yet so different. Is there really a difference between gelato and ice cream? Or did we just fall hard for gelato because we were so romanced by Italy as a whole?
We love meeting new and inspiring creative people. We also love food (who doesn’t?!) and are constantly searching for creative ways to share recipes with our Studio Tea readers. Needless to say, when Lauren K. Stein, reached out to us we were thrilled to learn more about her latest cookbook Fresh Made Simple featuring beautifully illustrated, original recipes. Lauren graciously offered to share her recipe for a delicious Italian Cacio e Pepe pasta dish and here she dives into the story behind her work with a little Q&A.
Lemons – like olives and grapes – are an iconic Italian crop. Travel through the Amalfi coast and you’ll see lemons everywhere. From lemons at fruit stands to painted lemons hidden in beautiful ceramic pottery, they seem to be everywhere you turn. Italy is the world’s largest lemon producer and this fragrant, sour fruit plays a big role in the countries cuisine. From limoncello – a lemon liqueur mainly produced in the South of Italy – to salad dressings, marinades, seafood dishes and even desserts, this do-it-all fruit can be found in much of Italy’s famous cuisine.