50 SHADES OF TOKYO DESSERTS | SHADE 19
I finally got to try one of the most Instagramable donuts in the world! So here is the story: Nara-based husband and wife wanted to bake donuts for their kids that would be guilt-free and adorable at the same time. They started using only locally harvested organic ingredients (the flour, eggs, salt and sugar), and refused to add any additives or preservatives to their baked products. The concept developed into a business plan in 2002 and now Floresta Nature Donut shops are spread all over the country in locations as far flung as Kyushu and Hokkaido. Japanese are very conscientious about waste management and Floresta is not an exception. The bakery is careful with how much waste they produce and do not make use of synthetic detergents for the cleaning, thus reducing their negative impact on the environment. Everything is freshly baked every day. From cats and pandas to chicken and penguins, each edible animal comes in different flavors and is offered in limited runs, which means it’s better to visit them early in the day before the cuteness is sold out. Moreover, they tend to switch up the flavors and rotate their daily selections as well as their seasonal donuts and special animal decorated donuts. Each store will list a monthly schedule of what days of the week each animal is coming out. Not all animals are available every day. None of Floresta’s shops are centrally located in Tokyo and I kept putting off my visit. Luckily, I learned there is a shop located in Kamakura where I spent my Saturday browsing this beautiful historic seaside town. I made my mission to visit Floresta there and actually happened to arrive one minute prior to the opening – couldn’t have timed it better! There is a wide choice of flavors available among basic donuts, although animal shaped ones steal all the attention. My choice fell on a pink piggy, a happy frog to commemorate the rainy season, a chocolate glazed coconut donut and a plain one, which was recommended by the shop assistant. The cuteness in edible form! I was so happy to discover that these adorable treats not only looked good, but tasted good as well. I noticed they tend to be a bit on a drier side with texture reminiscent of a financier yet not as moist.
I love that they are a bit skinnier, significantly less sweet, and as a result much lighter product than your typical donut, which makes them a perfect guilt-free indulgence. The glaze provides very nice sweet contrast and also adds a nice flavor. Ears are usually made of almonds which added a nice crunch to the bite. Might not satisfy a hard core donut fan, but I personally enjoyed it a lot. Definitely worth a try!
- There are a few stores around Tokyo which are sadly not centrally located. The closest and easiest to get to is Koenji, allegedly also a great quaint neighborhood with tons of thrift shops. Another one is Soshigaya branch conveniently situated next to the station, right across from the town square.
- You can also find Floresta shops in Kamakura, like I did, as well as Kyoto (near the Kawaramachi station), Osaka and the main Nara shop.