A bakery that is open only twice a week (Friday and Saturday)? Am I the only one who would be curious about such a place?☺
I had read about 落花生Rakkasei in a magazine on Kyoto shops last year at another café last summer and put it on my list of cafes and bakeries to visit. The bakery uses 自家製酵母jikasei kohbo (homemade yeast) made from raisin, organically produced flour, wheat and rye as well, from all over the country to make the 25 kinds of bread available there; depending on the season, the yeast can be made with fruits or vegetables. The anko used is homemade and egg, butter and milk are hardly used.
According to the owner’s explanation of the meaning of the bakery’s name on their website, “落花生rakkasei” means “peanut” and the characters mean “to be born from fallen flower”; the owner felt this image was similar to how their bread is made and the name stuck, especially after her husband made her a lamp shaped like a peanut.
This past weekend when I parted with my friend, Shun, who was leaving for Australia soon (actually the day before this post) in mid-afternoon, I decided it was the best time to drop by Rakkasei.
Rakkasei is located close to JR嵯峨野線 円町駅Sagano Line Enmachi Station which is on my route home. From the map that I found to get there, it seemed to be in a roji close to Siam after crossing a stream. I ended up going one street further but I was able to make my way back there…it helped there was this sign at the beginning of the roji in which it was located to direct me.
an inviting quaint and tiny machiya exterior
I had expected it to be small from what information I found on it and from the outside once I arrived but I was still surprised at how tiny the space turned out to be, as big as the foyer of a house…maybe there was room for three customers comfortably at most. The female owner came out to greet me after I called a greeting to her in the back. I asked her if it was okay to take pictures to which she pleasantly obliged by darting into the back to let me take pictures to my heart’s content.☺
There were quite a few peanut-shaped items as decoration inside besides the lamp by the owner’s husband which I felt was the one hanging over the register area.
The bread was displayed to the right upon walking in where there was a stack of wooden trays and tongs for choosing bread on a chair by the door.
When I arrived about an hour before close, there were only three kinds of bread left, all sweet, but it’s to be expected since it seems to be a popular bakery…I ended up getting the cube-shaped ココナッツ×くりkokonattsu purasu kuri (coconut-chestnut bread), ￥220, (top left) and 花りんごhana ringo (apple “flower” bread), ￥140 (top right).
The apple flower bread was hard on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, made from apple yeast and stuffed with homemade apple jam and anko made from 銀手亡豆binchohtan mame (a type of bean with which I’m not familiar). The coconut-chestnut bread also had the same texture and was stuffed with a coconut and chestnut mixture that reminded me the inside of an Almond Joy but less sweet and moist. I was very satisfied with the subtle flavoring of the two breads which makes it easy to consume all the more, haha! I hope I can make it when there are more choices. I noticed some baskets at the front with bread on reserve; I guess there’s that option, too.☺
Update: Three months later, I dropped by Rakkasei prepared to see a sign that said that the wares were sold out for the day except for reserved bread but the normal sign was still out which meant there was bread left! When I walked in, I was met with the sight three kinds of bread, just like the first day that I dropped by although this time there were only two sweet types of bread, one of which I purchased.
季節の果実と胡桃の全粒粉スコーンkisetsu no kajitsu to kurumi no zenryuufun sukohn (seasonal fruit & walnut whole-wheat scone), ￥240
The owner baker said that it was only slightly sweet but when I had it later at home for dessert, I found it to be perfectly sweet…the fruit used at the moment is kiwi, in the form of homemade jam. It was so full of flavor and a pleasant eat that I didn’t want it to end…I should haven’t gotten another!
I really need to make it earlier than about 4:00pm or after all the time.☺