It can be supposed that Anko can now pass as one of the Japanese staples these days. Anko is a sweet paste made from zauki beans. Although on their own, Azuki beans are sweet, but they are still commonly sweetened with sugar or honey.
The appearance of the azuki beans make it difficult to be imagined that it would give a whole lot of influence to the Japanese culture. And, besides the fact that even before sugar cane or processed sugar was able to make its way to the country of Japan, Anko being used as an ingredient for every dessert makes it even harder for us to imagine how. But, believe it or not, these Anko traditions still continue up to these days. Well-known Anko sweets or desserts include:
A sweet bun that is filled with anko.
These are mochi stuffed with anko.
Anko filled mochi with whole strawberry.
This is a bowl of agar jelly with anko and fruits varieties such as peach, mikan, cherries and pineapple. This is commonly served with sweet black syrup in a small pot beside it. Ice cream is also added.
Flour dumplings that can be topped with anko.
If you are familiar with Doraemon, you are probably with this. These are two castella pancakes that is filled with anko.
Anko filled with steamed cakes.
Oshiruko—anko soup with mochi. Oshiruko is also processed in a can as a juice and as a chocolate bar.
Fish-shaped cakes that filled with anko. Taiyaki is one of the most popular festival foods in Japan.
Favorite breakfast in Nagoya, and is available at most cafes all throughout Japan.
Thick jellied anko that traditionally serves as dessert.