Pao de Castella – a Japanese Dessert

On the way back home this past weekend, I picked up a bag of freshly cooked Pao de Castella shaped into adorable little bears from a food truck at the highway rest stop.  They were piping hot and perfectly light and rich with just a tad of sweetness.

Pao de Castella (or Kasutera in Japanese) was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese missionaries who arrived in Nagasaki in the 16th century.  Since this dessert was introduced centuries ago, it’s assimilated itself into the Japanese culture so much that this dessert is considered Japanese sponge cake.  This dessert doesn’t use any oil and is typically flavored with honey, but you can find it also flavored with matcha or chocolate.  It uses only natural ingredients which makes it very popular in Japan.

The little truck parked in front of a Family Mart was playing a very catchy, happy tune, and attracted customers with a cute dancing bear, the smell of freshly-baked Pao de Castella, and samples!!  I couldn’t help myself and bought 15 pieces for 500 yen.

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