Finding Japan in Germany! Part 6: “Taiyaki” is getting popular in Berlin!

"A report on Japanese culture found in Germany"- In this article TJ writer wasabi, who is currently in Berlin, is interviewing people she found who are associated with Japan and its culture. This time, she interviewed Shige, the owner of “Taiyaki”, a food vendor she happened to encounter by chance at a market!

2017-05-18 Wasabi   Food & Drinks,

The staff baking Taiyaki.

The Owner, Ms. Ayabe

Is Berlin a paradise for Japanese food!?

Along with the Okonomiyaki vendor which I previously introduced, I happened to have met a Japanese food vendor who uses flour, so called “Konamono” in the hip flea market of NowKoelln Flowmarkt in Berlin. Has anyone ever imagined that they could visit two different Japanese food shops at the same market in berlin!? The owner Ms. Ayabe, is currently studying design at a University and she started this Taiyaki shop 4 years ago. This time, I interviewed her and asked her the reason why she chose to sell Taiyaki and how Taiyaki, a food so oriental and completely new to Berliners, has become popular in Berlin.

Sweet potato flavored Taiyaki

Taiyaki is a “Japanese waffle”.

In Japan, everybody has eaten Taiyaki at least once. It’s that popular. However, it is completely new to people in Germany and so many of them don’t know if it tastes sweet, salty, or even fishy, because it’s shaped like a fish. When she’s asked about it, she always explains it as a “Japanese waffle”. They have 4 different kinds of flavors; sweet potato, aduki beans, chocolate, and cheese. The most popular ones among the health conscious people in Berlin are, sweet potato and cheese. I’ve also had the sweet potato one. The sweet potato here is more watery, and it tasted like custard.

There are people lined up!

Taiyaki is accepted in Germany!

The reason why she started Taiyaki is that, it is somewhat familiar to a food that Germany already has, so it will likely remain popular in Germany.
As already known, the Waffle is a popular food in Germany and Taiyaki tastes much like it. The waffle’s popularity makes Taiyaki more acceptable here, she says. People were curiously observing the fish molded dough in front of the shop, and it’s very busy. Every time I come across people from a variety of ethnicities holding and eating Taiyaki at the market, I’m amazed how Berlin is so open to everyone and how diverse it is. That makes me, more in love with this city. This weekend, the smell of Taiyaki will, as usual, saturate the NowKoelln Flowmarkt atmosphere.

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!