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Introducing the Tianjin Sweet Chestnut video

This video, titled "Making the Best Sweet Chestnut "AMAGURI" at Kyoto! Japanese Street food, Craftsmanship, Gourmet!," was created by "DELI BALI."

This video introduces the sweet chestnut store "Hayashi Monshodo" (林万昌堂) which has been in business since 1874.
Hayashi Monshodo is located at the entrance to Shinkyogoku (新京極) in central Kyoto (京都府, kyoutofu).

As you can see in the video, a huge amount of chestnuts are roasted here every day.
Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts have become a famous soul food of Kyoto.

Enjoy watching learning more about Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts in the video.

More About Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts

Image of Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts
Photo:Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts

Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts are made from chestnuts of the Chinese Chestnut tree (シナグリ, shinaguri) (scientific name Castanea mollissima), a deciduous tree native to China.
Since the astringent bark is not attached to the edible part with tannin like the Japanese chestnut, it's easy to peel off the roasted part with one's hands or utensils.
Li Jinzhang (李金章) and Kunijiro Kuki (九鬼国次郎) opened Japan's first sweet chestnut store "Kanemasuya" on November 3rd, 1910 in Asakusa's Nakamise Shopping Street (浅草の仲見世).

Chinese chestnuts were originally only grown in China, however, selectively bred species, which differ from the original Chinese variety, are now being grown in both Kochi Prefecture (高知県, kouchiken) and Gifu prefecture (岐阜県, gifuken).
These chestnuts are highly disease resistant, much like the Japanese chestnut, and hybrids are currently being created with American and European species to improve their resistance to disease and pests.

How Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts Are Made

Image of Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts
Photo:Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts

The process for making Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts is as follows.

1. Roasting
From 0:28 in the video, you can see a huge amount of chestnuts being roasted together.
They are mixed constantly with river pebbles until they become soft.
The river pebbles are great conductors of heat which helps maintain the plumpness of the chestnuts throughout roasting.

2. Sorting
From 0:56 in the video, you can see the chestnuts being sorted.
Poor quality chestnuts are removed and discarded.
This is all done by hand and requires a lot of knowledge and experience to know what to look for.

The chestnuts are roasted carefully, with roasting time and methods being adjusted as needed.
Once the chestnuts are fully roasted, mizuame is added.
The sugar caramelizes producing a beautiful aroma.

3. Inspection
From 3:53 in the video, you can see the chestnuts being checked to see how much longer they need to be cooked.
The fully roasted chestnuts are separated from the hot river pebbles using a sieve.

4. Sorting
From 6:00 in the video, you can see the fully roasted chestnuts being sorted.
Small or poor quality chestnuts are removed during this stage.

5. Brushing
From 6:38 in the video, you can see the chestnuts being brushed.
This process produces a glossy finish.
Once this process is complete, the chestnuts are ready to be packaged and sold.

6. Completion
From 7:47 in the video, you can see the chestnuts as they're packaged and then lined up in the store ready to be sold.

Summary of Hayashi Manshodo's Tianjin Sweet Chesnuts

Image of shelled sweet chestnuts
Photo:Shelled sweet chestnuts

Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts are fun to peel and delicious to eat!
We hope you enjoyed watching the video and learning more about how Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts are made!

Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts are higher in calories than Japanese chestnuts, high in fiber, and very filling, making them a very popular snack.

If you are interested in trying these sweet, freshly baked chestnuts, they can also be purchased online, so be sure to check out Hayashi Manshodo's website!

【Official Website】Hayashi Manshodo - A Long Established Chestnut Shop

Written By
Last Updated : Aug. 5, 2022
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
Roasting Tianjin Sweet Chestnuts Requires a Lot of Time and Effort but the Result Is Delicious! These Beautiful, Glossy Chestnuts Are a Traditional Food Loved by the Japanese People!
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