From Our Editors
Between 49th and 59th, Midtown's Fifth Avenue can overwhelm the senses as taxicabs honk their horns and shoppers bustle past windows displaying designer bags, rare orchids, and Tiffany diamonds. Minamoto Kitchoan is right at home here. Inside, delicate, pastel-toned pastries line the glass cases like precious, colorful jewels. The Japanese confectionery specializes in wagashi, bite-size treats made from bean paste and glutinous rice that are a time-honored complement to fresh green tea. All the shop's wagashi is made in Japan and carefully exported to the New York store, along with Minamoto's other big-city locations that include Singapore, London, and San Francisco. Minamoto's morsels offer a health-conscious alternative to the sugar-coated donuts, tarts, and pastries you'll find in most of the city's bakeries. Here, the treats are made with no refined sugars and little to no animal-based fat, forming such sweets as green tea mochi and sweet, clear jellies filled with fresh cherries or white peaches, a particular favorite of the New York Times.