Kobe Selection 9

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 22.40.02What is Kobe Selection? Kobe Selection is an annual listing of the top selections from the best Kobe sweets, food, fashion, beauty and goods

This year, in 2016 is Kobe Selection 9. See their official website here: http://www.kobe-selection.jp/

I had the privilege to visit some of the big names, witness behind-the-scenes and  taste/try their products; it was way too awesome.

Here are my favourite picks (in no order of preference)

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Frantz (pudding)

http://www.frantz.jp

Kobe is famous for its sweets and pudding is probably consider one of their signature.

Frantz from Kobe does some of the best renditions of this sweet dessert with an incredible melt in the mouth texture topped with fresh delicate whip.

These pudding are so fresh that you have to enjoy these sweets while you are there as they are not allowed on international flights. Good news is that Frantz have a cafe with seating at Mosaic, HarborLand which is perfect for enjoying their pudding.

Pudding comes in variety of flavours including original, sweet potato, houjicha, as well as seasonal limited time offerings like berry sweets collection for their latest Spring collection.

For omiyage, they are also well known for several items including their chocolate and strawberry truffle sweets. Just look at these beautiful strawberry truffles.

A ingenious combination of tangy fresh strawberries that are freeze dried and encased in high quality white chocolate. Even for a non white chocolate fan, these won my heart. And they sure make great gifts. pudding

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Kobe Baikado (Wafer fruits biscuits)

http://www-kobe-baikado.com

The only maker in Japan of these handmade wafer fruits biscuits. These handmade baked goods require so much precision and selection of ingredients, it is a no wonder only Kobe Baikado is able to produce these must buy omiyage snacks.

All my friends loved the wafer biscuits. I personally love the taste of the fresh fruits with the wafer, they are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

If you are not fruit fan, do not worry – they also have chocolate and matcha wafer bisuits with caramel fillings. Unlike most caramel biscuits, these are perfect with that ending bitter notes of the burnt sugar, very suited for adults.

The best place to buy these in Kobe is at basement of SOGO mall.wafer

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Kobe Ikanago

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/kobeshi-gyokyo

These little fishes are a nickname – Kobe fish. Yes, they are symbolic of Kobe.

Best caught in the waters of Kobe in March and April, these little fishes are cooked in Japanese soy sauce, soft brown sugar and ginger creating that intense flavour that is almost addictive.

I had the pleasure to join them to view the fishing experience and factory to see how these fishes are freshly prepared and packed for sale. It was so delicious I bought a box home (wished I could bring more back!).

I can just eat this with plain Japanese rice or porridge. It is that good.

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Kobe SMC ( Tea)

http://smc-shop.net

Well known as a remedy for skin and good for health, these rose tea are not only pretty in colour, they taste good too.

Aromatic floral notes evident in the tea and a sweet ending makes this a great tea for afternoon tea or pairing with desserts.

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Wataya (Indigo dye products)

http://e-wataya.jp

Store address: 〒670-0034 姫路市船丘町296番地

TEL.079-294-5555 Hours: 10am to 7pm (Closed on Tuesdays).

In a world where everything (almost) is made synthetically or mass produced, this 130 years old maker WATAYA in Kobe still uses all natural products and traditional methods in their textile goods.

Once you enter their store, you will see a sea of products in a beautiful indigo blue hue. Yes, their products are dyed using natural indigo dye extracted from plants.

All natural products also means that their goods are safe for children and baby too.

Their store is near Himeiji castle, which makes this a great shopping stop after sightseeing._DSC7037

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Chocolatan Kobe (Chocolate design fashion products)

http://chocolatan.co.jp

When i posted this online, this garnered quite a lot of attention. Not surprising since this is indeed uniquely Chocolatatan Kobe. Chocolate design leather goods ranging from card holders, handphone casing, to bags and even ties.

Yes, this series is designed with both male and female users in mind.

I personally love white, so I picked the white handphone casing. Which ‘chocolate’ would you like?

Using a special technique, Chocolatan Kobe is able to create the special groove design of the chocolate bar with leather. Pretty impressive!

Also retailing at 神戸百貨店 at Mosaic, HarborLand.chocolatan Kobe

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Mutenka Sekken (Natural soap and beauty products)

http://mutenka-sekken.com

It is really hard to find all natural products these days and the soap products from Mutenka Sekken stands out from the rest by insisting on using only pure natural ingredients in their products.

Making these suitable for sensitive and allergic skin and anyone who do not like chemicals and added artificial ingredients in their beauty products.

Some of the ingredients in their soap include almond oil, cocoa butter, honey, rosehip, vanilla oil etc.

Their newest series include a four seasons soap – Spring, Summer, Autum and Winter.

Each of these addictive free soap with elements suited for the season’s weather.

Also retailing at 神戸百貨店 at Mosaic, HarborLand.soap

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