Temperatures have risen rapidly in recent days after a longer than usual rainy season in Japan this year. To combat the intense summer heat, various lemon sweets and snacks have been trending in Tokyo. Known to be filled with the goodness of Vitamin C, lemons and lemon juice counteract the draining heat of summer by strengthening the immune system and boosting energy. Antibacterial properties and natural antioxidants present in lemons are also believed to help fight infections, especially viral fevers and those pesky common colds. This summer, brighten your day and beat the humidity with these 5 refreshing and aromatic lemon treats.
1. Lemon Cookies
The Setouchi lemon has become well-known in Japan for being less acidic and mildly sweeter than most lemons, resulting in their juice and peels often being used in many desserts and confections beyond lemon cakes.
Antenor’s lemon “sand” (short for “sandwich”) cookie features fragrant Setouchi lemon cream and bittersweet lemon peels sandwiched between crisp wafers.
Antenor’s Lemon Sand Cookies / Source: Antenor’s website.
The rich buttery wafers nicely complement the honeyed flavor and tangy acidity of lemon white chocolate filling, making these cookies the ideal summer sweet.
TRY IT: 10 cookies for ¥594, 15 for ¥864 or 20 for ¥1,080 yen. | antenor.jp/
2. Assorted Lemon Popsicles
Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than an ice cold popsicle fresh from the freezer. In fact, many would probably argue that ice pops are quintessential summer sweets to help keep cool in the heat.
Recently, creative assortments of lemon-themed popsicles and cold shaved ice desserts have started appearing at many supermarkets and convenience stores around Tokyo. They make wonderful, healthy frozen treats on a midsummer afternoon to enjoy alone, among friends, or with the whole family.
Featured in the photo above: Sicilian lemon-flavored Papico tube sherbet (top), lemon-flavored Sacré shaved ice cup with real sliced lemons (bottom left), and Rare Cheese Lemonade popsicle infused with lemon peels (bottom right).
Enjoy a revitalizing lemon popsicle to feel reenergized and beat the blistering heat in Tokyo this summer!
TRY IT: Assorted ice pops from ¥116~¥172 each. Available at various convenience stores and supermarkets.
3. Lemon Cake
Lemon cakes have been a popular summer sweet in Japan for decades, most well-known and popularized with Hiroshima lemons and Setouchi lemons. The climate of the Seto Inland (setouchi in Japanese) coastal area in Hiroshima Prefecture is temperate with little rain, making it ideal for cultivating citrus fruits. In fact, more than half of domestic lemons in Japan are produced in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Recently, new entrants have created distinct varieties of the soft, fluffy Japanese lemon cake. Gin no Budo’s Lemon & Lemon is a nice spongy Japanese cake infused with the mild but enjoyable tanginess of lemons.
Shaped like a lemon, the madeleine is made from both Japanese and Spanish lemons. The filling is a delicious jelly made from Setouchi lemons and real lemon peels, paired with juice from the Spanish lemons to bring out a balanced sweet and sour taste. Rich white chocolate brownie bits add texture to the soft and moist cake.
TRY IT: 1 cake for ¥250, or a box of 5 cakes for ¥1,252 yen | ginnobudo.jp/
4. Lemon Pudding
Another Japanese summer dessert that should not be missed is a sumptuous lemon pudding. Mozoroff is offering its summer-limited pudding that layers luxurious Setouchi lemon sauce and jelly with a creamy milky pudding. The tart lemon sauce bursts with a juicy pop of flavor while you enjoy the pudding’s cool and silky smooth mouthfeel.
TRY IT: 1 pudding for ¥378 | morozoff.co.jp/
5. Lemon Crackers
The combination of salt and lemon flavors is widespread in Japan during the summer months. While the salt supports replenishment of the salt your body loses when sweating during the summer heat, the lemon flavor provides a refreshingly juicy kick.
One of the most popular products at the Azabujuban Agemochiya is the salt and lemon-flavored rice crackers. The slightly acidic sourness from the lemon neutralizes any heaviness of the savory fried crackers. Light, bite-sized pieces make it an easy and convenient snack. Perfect when served with a drink.
TRY IT: 1 bag of crackers for ¥410 | agemochiya.com/