The origins of taiyaki date back to at least 100 years. Tai (Sea Bream) is considered the king among fish in Japan. It was also given as gifts to the Shogun during the Edo period. The Tai is also considered to be a sign of good luck. As fish became more expensive, giving tai became harder and harder. The invention of tai shaped pastry slowly came to be. The tai could still be honored, but became more affordable and most likely, more liked by the masses.
The traditional taiyaki is a sweet pancake like sandwich typically filled with azuki beans. As time progressed, taiyaki were filled with different flavors such as match, custard, etc.
The Croissant Taiyaki is a creative mix of the traditional filled taiyaki dessert, but takes it up several levels by using croissant dough.
The result is a crispy, crunchy, flaky pastry filled with either custard cream, strawberry custard, chocolate, or azuki beans. The pasty is then topped with large chunks of sugar to add an extra layer of crunch and sweetness.
The custard cream filling was nice and smooth, like a silky pudding. It wasn’t overly sweet and went well with the croissant.
The chocolate filling was a little sweeter, and more of a thicker pudding consistency. The slivered almonds also added an extra layer of crunch.
The azuki bean filling was a little course, not the ultra smooth azuki bean paste that is sometimes used in desserts. For some reason, I forgot to take a picture of the azuki bean croissant taiyaki.
I am not a big fan of strawberry desserts in this fashion, so I did not buy or try the strawberry custard variety.
The chocolate croissant taiyaki was by far my favorite. It’s a good thing I don’t live in Japan because with all of their pastries, I’d be making too many stops at all of the different pastry and bake shops because there is a seemingly endless number of places to try in Tokyo.