Food · Japanese · Uncategorized

Love letter for いも [Episode 1]

IMG_3425[1]It’s no secret that I love sweet potato. I blame my mom for this. She raised me on sweet potatoes and candied yams. This affinity for imo (いも), as its known in Japanese, has only grown in Japan. There are so many different varieties of sweet potato and they each have distinct flavors and qualities. So I decided to show you all of the いも treats that I find around Japan. Keep in mind that for most of these I have already tried them and am documenting them solely for this blog. New いも products will have the title of ‘New’.

This most recent one is very new and I’m excited to share it.

This past weekend my friends and I went on a mission to find いも cake! We drove 40 mins from Himeji to Miki city. We went to a small restaurant called Ballantaine. They have the best cakes that I’ve tried in Japan to date. We enjoyed the cakes so much that we are planning to return next month for more.


Now I have to say that this いも cake was good. At first. I mean to say that we started by trying the いも cake. Then my friend decided that all the cakes in the display looked good and we should try more. That was when my focus on いも momentary shifted to the others. This was by far the best chocolate cake that I’ve tried in Japan. I like to consider myself a chocolate scholar. I’ve studied it, experienced it and can report on my findings with almost reverential accuracy.  I’ve thus far been disappointed in my findings here. I’ve even resorted to making my own chocolate cakes to compensate for what I see as the great cultural failing of Japan.


The Caramel New York cheesecake was out of this world! It felt like scientist had figured out what chemicals to use to create euphoria then injected it into this cheesecake. We were all, my two friends and I, moaning and cheering simultaneously throughout this experience. I’m sure we annoyed some of the other customers but I like to think the workers understood our responses and welcomed them.

There are no words to describe that chocolate cake. You need to experience it. You just gotta!

So even though the いも cake was blah, they redeemed themselves with the いも tarte! Bruh! Its ‘come to Jesus’ good. I had to tell myself not to buy any cake to take home because you and I both know that cake would have made it to the door and then would have been no more!



I’m recommending that everyone go and try the cakes at Ballantaine in Miki City. I’ve added a link to their website.


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