From March 24th to 26th, the “Miyabi no Ichigo no Awayuki” white strawberries grown by Ichigolus Inc. of Tamana City, Kumamoto Prefecture, were featured in collaborations with three famous sweet shops in New York City. Awayuki strawberries are known for their pale pink color and balance of sweetness and acidity. The products sold out quickly in all stores, exceeding expectations and making a splash with the customer base.
RESOBOX has been working to promote Awayuki strawberries in the United States on behalf of Ichigolus Inc. since 2021. Last year, we collaborated with Eileen’s Special Cheesecake, a renowned cheesecake shop established in 1974 in Lower Manhattan, and successfully raised awareness of Japanese white strawberries in New York City.
This year, we aimed to expand our sales channels further and worked in collaboration with three famous sweet shops. Below are the participating stores and their special Awayuki desserts:
①”Awayuki Tart” at “Burrow,” a popular shop with many celebrity fans
The pastry shop “Burrow” was founded by Ayako Kurokawa, who moved to New York in 2000. The shop’s intricately designed cakes, which show off the full depth and flavor of their ingredients, have been featured in notable publications such as The New York Times and Bon Appetit, and have gained many fans, including well-known celebrities. The limited-time collaboration sweet, “Awayuki Tart,” is inspired by the taste of a tart that Kurokawa loved from a pastry shop she frequented as a child. The tart only uses three ingredients: chocolate-dipped cookies, cream, and Awayuki strawberries. Despite these simple elements, the finished product is far greater than the sum of its parts, and brings immense happiness to whoever eats it.
The store prepared 50 tarts, which sold out in an hour when they became available around 11:30am on the 24th. Customers expressed joy, with comments like “It was very delicious with an elegant taste.”
②”Strawberry Charlotte” at Lysée
“Lysée” is a high-end confectionery shop that combines Korean and French styles. Its innovative and stylish sweets have gained a loyal and vocal fan following. The owner and pastry chef, Eunji Lee, moved to France in 2006 to study pastry-making at Institut National de la Boulangerie Pâtisserie and Ecole Ferrandi. After four years of training at the three-star Michelin restaurant “Le Meurice” she worked as the executive pastry chef at the two-star Michelin restaurant “Jungsik” in NYC. She competed in the French cooking show “Qui sera le prochain grand pâtissier?” and became the first non-European finalist, and has an impressive record of winning awards in American competitions. Her achievements can be seen in articles from The New York Times, EATER, and other publications.
The collaboration dessert “Strawberry Charlotte” is a strawberry-lime compote and vanilla cream cake wrapped in rustic ladyfingers and topped with an Awayuki strawberry. The light colors of this spring-like cake attracted a lot of attention on social media on the day of the event, and all 230 cakes were sold out in two days.
③Plated sweets to savor with wine at NYC’s ChikaLicious Dessert Bar
ChikaLicious Dessert Bar in NYC is a well-known spot for enjoying “assiette de dessert” (dessert plates) paired with wine. The owner, Japanese chef Chika Tillman, previously worked as a pastry chef at several renowned restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, before opening her own dessert bar. ChikaLicious Dessert Bar now has locations in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Bangkok.
The collaborative dessert, “Awayuki Strawberry in Rosemary Syrup with Creme Fraiche Sorbet and Rosemary Puff,” features delicate slices of Awayuki Strawberry in rosemary syrup, topped with refreshing sorbet and a rosemary puff. The perfect pairing is the French Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2021, which has a refined sweetness. Chika Tillman praised Awayuki strawberries for their beautiful appearance, wonderful aroma, and explosive flavors. The dessert was enjoyed by regulars and newcomers alike, with one customer even calling their friend and telling them to come to ChikaLicious immediately to try it.
Although the strawberry season has ended for this year, RESOBOX, which does outreach and promotional events introducing Japanese ingredients to US restaurants, chefs, and retailers, plans to continue spreading the charm of “Miyabi no Ichigo no Awayuki” next season. If you are interested in Japanese ingredients and want to try them out, please feel free to contact RESOBOX (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are also available for consultations via Zoom and would be delighted to help promote carefully crafted Japanese products in the US.