These sugars have a lot of sentimental value to me. I've used them for as long as I can remember so when the chance arose to import them to the United States, I jumped at the opportunity. This is the first time they are being sold in the US through our international trading company, Web Japan, Inc., which has exclusive rights to sell the sugars.
The sugars are handcrafted by one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Japan with the highest quality sugar possible. They are over 270 years old and have provided the Royal Family in Japan with their sugar since the time of the Shogun. Japanese artisans still use traditional methods to create this luxurious sugar for your cup of tea and coffee.
I was born and raised in Queens, New York but spent every childhood summer in Japan with my grandparents. My grandmother, Kimie, was a homemaker and my grandfather was a teacher. If you know anything about Japanese culture you'll know that teachers are highly revered in society. While I stayed at my grandparent's home in the summer, grandmother and I spent many afternoons entertaining neighbors, family and students' parents who would visit during the summer months to drop off gifts to show their thanks during Ochugen.
My grandparents lived in a small city called Omuta in Fukuoka prefecture which is in Kyushu, the Southern part of Japan. It was "very country" with few fancy cafes or restaurants, so we always took entertaining to a new level at home. One of our secret ingredients for social gatherings would be these lovely jewels of sugar. Grandma and I handpicked flowers from her garden, plated homemade sweet and savory snacks on fine china. Then for the final presentation - coffee or tea depending on company.
These sugars are more than "just sugar". They remind me of how proud my family is of being Japanese and how they put 100% into everything that they do. I know the importance of paying attention to detail and understanding the importance of presentation. Many of you probably know this, but the Japanese are prolific gift givers! Food items are always the most popular. Fruit, seafood, desserts...would all be mailed out during Ochugen. I hope one day to pass these traditions on to my niece Clarissa and my own children.
Our gourmet sugar allows you to add a touch of elegance to any occasion. They are perfect for afternoon tea with friends, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, impromptu gatherings or gifts for those you love. And don't forget to treat yourself.
I hope you love them as much as I do.
Lisa Kunizaki Choliy