Rice is a staple in Japan and the rest of Asia. Aside from being consumed as is, it is also used in many different dishes and in many different forms. One such rice that is popular in Japan is Tsuyahime rice. The reason why people love this particular rice grain is because of its many great characteristics.
Tsuyahime rice is known not only for its uniformly sized grains but also because of its great flavor. It's sticky, shiny, somewhat sweet and has larger sized grains than other similar rice types. This particular rice is cultivated mostly in the Yamagata Prefecture and is considered a Special A type of rice in the country. It is also chosen by many due to the fact that when it is cultivated, it uses less pesticide than other rice types.
Aside from being used as a staple in meals, this rice is also used to create popular dishes such as rice cakes, dumplings, and baumkuchen. The reason why Tsuyahime rice is used in these many different ways is because of its inherent characteristics, particularly its natural sweetness and its sticky nature. This allows for the proper adherence needed in the creation of rice cakes, dumplings, and the German-inspired baumkuchen.
The baumkuchen is a ring-shaped dessert that is actually a cake cooked on a rotating spit. The batter of this cake is poured on the rotating spit slowly as the layers cook. The name itself is translated as tree cake since the rings that are formed resemble those that are found in the trunks of trees.
The use of Tsuyahime rice in this particular manner is what makes the Japanese version of this cake different from its European counterparts. This dessert is often served at weddings or given as giveaways to wedding guests since the rings symbolize longevity and prosperity. It has been popular in the country since the early 1900s.