Taiyaki are Japanese fish-shaped desserts, made with waffle or pancake dough and filled with anko (azuki bean jam) or cream, but there is also a savory version with cheese.
Taiyaki were invented at the beginning of the 20th century and are still very popular today, they are found especially at stalls and are consumed as a snack or snack.
A few steps from Porta Venezia, a shop specializing in these sweets, Taiyaki Den, has opened.
The ownership is Italian, as is the staff. The place, which is actually very small since the sale is practically intended only for takeaway, is well-kept and recalls the motifs of Fujimi Inari and cherry blossoms. The treats are cooked freshly, so have a little patience and wait.
The menu offers both classic variations of taiyaki, with anko and cream: two small, pleasant desserts as long as you eat them hot as soon as they are made. The consistency is good, they are cooked well and with the right amount of filling.
But the proposal does not push these two products, but rather the version with ice cream.
In Japan, ice cream taiyaki (taiyaki aisukurimu) was invented in the 1980s by the Imuraya company: the appearance is exactly that of classic taiyaki but inside there is vanilla ice cream with a mixture of red beans. These desserts were also produced by Glico with a chocolate ice cream filling.
In both cases they were packaged ice creams, nothing freshly prepared as in the case of Taiyaki Den: the latter, in my opinion, instead brought to Italy the version of Taiyaki NYC, an American chain that launched a few years ago fashion right from the Chinatown New York store.
Just like American taiyaki, those from Taiyaki Den feature a waffle in the shape of a large fish with an open mouth, into which soft ice cream is poured in a choreographic manner. Everything is then garnished with biscuits, sprinkles and other small sweets according to your taste.
My advice is to try the classic versions, which are quite good. But if your goal is to create content that can go viral on social media, then the ice cream version is the one for you: it is no coincidence that almost all the customers are Italian and buy the version with ice cream to take photos or shoot videos . In short, Japan is just an abstract idea...