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[Story about Kawara senbei: history, manufacturing method, and chemistry]

Today, I would like to write about "Kawara senbei", a special sweet for Emirido.

Even though it is called Kawara senbei in one bite, the taste varies depending on the shop, ranging from "Katayaki", which has a thick and chewy texture, to "Softyaki", which has a texture similar to castella cake. Kawara senbei, a sweet sweet made by Emirido, is made from wheat, eggs, sugar, and honey, and is baked in a mold and is also known as a Japanese cookie.

We hope that Emiri-do's senbei will be even more delicious when you eat them.

History of Kawara senbei

Kawara senbei has a long history, and is said to have been introduced by Kobo Daishi Kukai, a high priest of the Heian period, after returning from China during the Tang dynasty. There are various theories about its origin and when it became popular, but the two most likely theories are that it originated in Kobe and Takamatsu .

Origin of Kawara senbei: A story of Kobe and Takamatsu

Now, let's explore the origin and characteristics of "Kawawara senbei" from the perspectives of both Kobe and Takamatsu.

Both types of kawara senbei tell the story of their unique history and development of manufacturing technology, and while they strongly reflect history and culture, they share a square shape that imitates roof tiles.

Kobe kawara senbei appeared in the late Edo period.

It all started when local craftsmen started baking rice crackers in tile-shaped molds. It reflected the region's tile-making techniques and was particularly popular in the Hanshinma area.

Kobe's Kawara Senbei are known for their crispy texture.

On the other hand, the history of kawara senbei in Takamatsu originates from Sanuki Province (present-day Kagawa Prefecture). This is also said to have been influenced by the techniques of tile craftsmen, and is said to have already existed in the Edo period.

It is widely loved as a specialty of Kagawa, and has established itself as a local sweet of Sanuki. It is characterized by its deep sweetness and unique hardness, made with fresh eggs and sugar.

Raw materials

The basic ingredients are wheat, eggs, and sugar.

There are as many ingenuity as there are stores, such as being particular about the origin of ingredients and materials, working on local production for local consumption, and adding honey.

Making seeds: Aging and Gluten

The secret to a crispy finish is making the dough .

Carefully selected flour and sugar, fresh chicken eggs, and honey. The ingredients are mixed in the perfect ratio, and the dough undergoes a fermentation process called "Aging" to give the seeds a rich yet mellow flavor.

Naturally, the moisture content and mixing quality of the dough changes depending on the temperature and humidity of the day, so we make subtle adjustments to the mixture every day.

Next, we will introduce "Gluten", an important factor in making senbei dough.

I'm sure you're familiar with the word "gluten." Gluten is a component created by adding water to flour and kneading it. Gluten has a property called "viscoelasticity," which means that it is elastic and stretches well.

Wheat flour, the main ingredient of Kawara senbei, contains proteins with two properties: glutenin (elasticity) and gliadin (viscosity). Kneading causes the ingredients to intertwine and form gluten.

The more you knead it, the more viscous and elastic it becomes . (As an aside, the flours with the highest amount of gluten and highest quality are ordered as strong flour, all-purpose flour, and soft flour.)

We achieve the best gluten adjustment by manually adjusting the dough while feeling the stress on our hands.

If you knead the dough with a mixer (kneader) that applies a uniform load to the dough, no matter how much you adjust the rotation speed, there is a risk of over-mixing, a movement that puts strain on the gluten. Due to its stickiness, it is not possible to express a light texture.

We would be happy if you could enjoy the taste and texture of the gluten adjustment necessary for a light and crispy texture, and the uniqueness of handmade products.

Skilled hand-baking technique: Maillard reaction

Of course, the secret to its deliciousness lies in the way it is baked.

Hand-baked kawara senbei is said to be a confectionery that stands out because of its simplicity, and the difference in the skill of the craftsman in terms of baking. Pour the seeds so that they fit into the baking dish and bake until just short of charring .

The aroma is produced by the so-called Maillard reaction.

The Maillard reaction (amino carbonyl reaction) is a reaction in which sugar and amino acids react with each other by heating to produce a brown substance called melanoidin. This is called a browning reaction.

For example, it would be easier to understand that caramelized pudding, teriyaki meat or fish, and browned pancakes are all caused by the Maillard reaction.

If there are too many seeds, the senbei will be heavy. If it is not roasted enough, it will not be able to produce a rich aroma.

The best amount and cooking timing is a rule of thumb or a feeling.

If you don't quickly place the baked kawara senbei on a special warped plate while it's still hot and soft, the shape will distort as it cools.

It's all about sense and speed. That's why I want to be a craftsman.


Kawara senbei is still loved by many people today due to its history, tradition, and each store's unique manufacturing method.

Although we still have a long way to go to improve our technique, I feel that Emiri-do's senbei can be expressed even more deliciously based on theoretical and chemical principles.

Our store will continue to explore new flavors while valuing the tradition of Kobe's kawara senbei.

Please try Emiri-do's Kawara senbei.



7-3-7 Nakamichi-dori, Hyogo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

[Business hours] 10:00-17:00

[Closed days] Sundays, holidays, year-end and New Year holidays


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