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Unagi Pie – Eel Pie from Shizuoka prefecture

Unagi Pie (うなぎパイ) is a beloved Japanese candy pastry stuffed with a candy and savory concoction. This deal with gained recognition as a memento and cherished for its distinctive mix of flavors and crispy texture. On this article, we’ll discover the origins, substances, and cultural significance of Unagi Pie in Japan.


What’s Unagi pie?

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)

Unagi pie or eel pie is a particular deal with from Shunkado Ltd., well-known in Hamamatsu Metropolis, Shizuoka Prefecture. To make it, they combine eel extract into pie dough, bake it, and prime it with a sauce like kabayaki. The one substances for the dough are wheat, butter, water, and eel extract powder. Proficient employees make the dough. They regulate it rigorously for temperature and humidity. Every individual kneads about 3.6 tons per day. They’re rolled out thinly and sprinkled with sugar, layering them as much as about 9,000 layers, creating a novel crispy texture. They’ve mechanized the baking course of, however they’ve stored the process the identical. The manufacturing unit slowly baked it for 10 minutes at a temperature of about 300 levels, and on the finish, they brushed it with a secret sauce, similar to kabayaki.

Regardless of its identify, Unagi Pie doesn’t really include eel (unagi). As an alternative, it’s a sort of pastry stuffed with a candy and savory filling. The identify “Unagi Pie” is a intelligent play on phrases, as “unagi” means eel in Japanese, however on this case, it refers back to the pie’s form reasonably than its substances. Shunkado holds the trademark for it. In a latest survey by the 2022 Netorabo Analysis Crew, this eel pie earned the fifth spot within the rating of native sweets that folks would like to obtain as souvenirs.

Unagi pie Historical past

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)

In 1961, the second president of Shunkado, Koichi Yamazaki, had a intelligent thought. He needed to create a particular pastry referred to as Unagi Pie. To make it distinctive, he determined to mix Western confectionery with eel. Hamamatsu’s connection to Lake Hamana and eel manufacturing is cleverly represented on this wordplay. After it was made, the pastry grew to become extremely popular. Gross sales went from 600,000 items in 1962 to 7 million in 1965. By 1966, annual gross sales exceeded 10 million items, resulting in the institution of a separate firm, Unagi Pie Honpo Co., Ltd., devoted solely to manufacturing these tasty treats. Unagi Pie has confronted difficulties, like the tip of mail-order gross sales in 2008 and a manufacturing pause in 2020 resulting from COVID-19. Nonetheless, it stays a beloved deal with with a protracted historical past.

Regardless of its recognition, Unagi Pie encountered gross sales challenges at JR Nagoya Station. In April 2016, the producer, Shunkado, reluctantly began discontinuing the product. After changing into a subject of dialogue on social media, gross sales resumed at kiosks in Nagoya Station on September 16, 2016. The journey had good instances and unhealthy instances. In 2020, manufacturing stopped as a result of fewer individuals needed the product. In 2021, there have been extra challenges due to one other emergency. Regardless of these hurdles, Unagi Pie stands as a testomony to innovation and native satisfaction in Hamamatsu Metropolis.

What’s the relationship between eel and pie?

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)

For those who’ve by no means had eel pie, you would possibly surprise, “Wait, does it style like eel?” For eel pie, extract from eel, a specialty of Lake Hamana, is kneaded into the pie dough. Nonetheless, it doesn’t style like eel in any respect. The primary cause it’s referred to as eel pie is just not its style, however the means of coating it with sauce and baking it like kabayaki.

What’s the secret ingredient in unagi pie?

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)

It has a small quantity of garlic in it. Concerning garlic, the artisans had been nervous that the “eel pie” in its prototype stage lacked depth of taste. President Koichi thought of utilizing a little bit garlic, impressed by the then-popular gyoza. When he urged this and used it to eliminate the fishy scent, it turned out to have a deep, addictive style like that eel pie.

What does eel pie evening snack imply?

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)

Throughout household gatherings, individuals are supposed to take pleasure in nighttime sweets. Koichi Yamazaki, the second president, gave the identify. In 1962, when eel pie was born, Japan was amid speedy financial development. Throughout that point, ladies started working outdoors the house and youngsters began attending college and cram college. It appeared that everybody was spending much less time at residence. Throughout this time, dinner at evening was a cherished time for households to collect collectively. “Night time Sweets” was named as a result of we needed individuals to have a enjoyable time surrounded by “eel pie” throughout such moments. Nonetheless, plainly many individuals purchase it with a unique interpretation.

Unagi pie FAQ

Does Unagi Pie style like an precise eel?

Whereas the flavors of grilled eel encourage Unagi Pie, it tastes totally different from eel. The candy pie crust and savory filling create a novel, pleasant style that captures unagi’s essence with out being too fishy. It has a nice style that mixes sweetness and umami, making it a novel deal with.

Can you discover Unagi Pie outdoors of Japan?

Whereas Unagi Pie is primarily obtainable in Japan, its recognition has led to restricted availability in some worldwide markets and specialty shops that carry Japanese snacks. Nonetheless, it stays extra generally present in Japan, making it a sought-after deal with for these touring there.

How do they make Unagi pie at manufacturing unit?

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)


Components and Dough Preparation

The preliminary steps within the Unagi Pie manufacturing course of start with an in depth record of substances—butter, wheat flour, and eel powder. The dough for every pie is meticulously handmade, emphasizing craftsmanship. The preparation course of, together with a craftsman kneading the dough, is seen upon opening the manufacturing unit door.


Baking the Dough Strip

Behind the door, a conveyor belt system carries a protracted strip of dough by way of an oven. The dough undergoes baking, and temperature changes are made day by day to accommodate variations in temperature and humidity. This course of ensures the dough’s transformation into the distinct form of an eel pie.

Software of Secret Sauce

The freshly baked eel pies emerge from the oven and transfer to the subsequent stage the place a brush vigorously spreads a secret sauce over their golden-brown surfaces. This distinctive sauce, identified to solely a choose few within the manufacturing unit, provides a particular taste to the Unagi Pies. A video illustrates the automated brush software of the key sauce.

High quality Examine

After saucing, the eel pies proceed by way of a glass case, the place employees examine every pie for cracks or misshapen kinds. The inspection ensures that solely well-shaped pies transfer ahead within the manufacturing course of.

Remaining Form Inspection

Because the eel pies circulation to the employees, one other step entails checking every pie towards a case with a protracted, slender gap to confirm that it conforms to the required form. A number of employees interact on this course of to ensure that solely completely formed Unagi Pies are accredited on the market. The meticulous consideration to element in every step underscores the dedication to delivering high-quality merchandise from the manufacturing unit.

The place to purchase Unagi pie?

Unagi Pie Manufacturing unit (うなぎパイファクトリー)

“Unagi Pie Manufacturing unit”, which is able to have a good time its tenth anniversary this 12 months, is predicated on the need to revitalize the native space and the idea that “we need to make individuals glad by way of sweets”, which we now have cherished since our founding. The pie dough is kneaded with rigorously chosen substances, blended with eel extract, baked, and completed with a secret sauce.

Deal with: Harajuku Piazza Constructing 1F/2F, 4-26-18 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Cellphone quantity: 053-4821-765
Hours open: 11:00~21:00 (LO20:30)
Web site: https://www.unagipai-factory.jp/

Remaining Ideas

Unagi pie (うなぎパイ)

Every step, from making the dough to including the key sauce, reveals a dedication to high quality and talent. The particular combination of candy and savory flavors captures the grilled eel’s essence with out having it. Once we discover how Unagi Pies are made, we uncover that scrumptious meals typically have fascinating histories. So, the subsequent time you savor a Unagi Pie, let or not it’s a second to relish not simply the flavour however the cultural and artisanal heritage that goes into making this pleasant deal with.

You possibly can verify some Japanese dishes beneath that we all know you want to strive too.

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