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We thought we’d found Japan’s purest dessert last year, following our discovery of an amazing water cake from Yamanashi. Now it turns out there’s something even purer – jelly made with water from Dewa Sanzan, three holy mountains in Yamagata.

Called Pururun Mizu Zeri, or Quivering Water Jelly, this special dessert is full of surprises. For starters, you won’t find it at a fancy restaurant or traditional Japanese wooden storehouse. Instead, this unusual sweet is being served up at the well-known Japanese barbecue restaurant chain, Gyukaku.

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When it comes out there’s another surprise. It’s nowhere near as pretty as the menu suggests. Despite the fact that it seems to be swimming in soy sauce and looks to have been beaten around the side with an exotic spice stick, we remind ourselves that we’re eating at a Japanese barbecue joint and press on.

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What looks to be soy is actually a drizzle of kuromitsu, black sugar syrup, and it’s all topped off with a dusting of kinako, roasted soybean flour.

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Encased in the globe-shaped dessert are two small pieces of round fruit, which look like pebbles suspended in motion inside a large drop of water.

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▼ Time to dig in!

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While we weren’t sure if the globe would break open and ooze liquid all over the bowl, it actually had a jelly-like firmness all the way through.

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The jelly was crystal clear and, being made from water, it had no distinct taste on its own. When combined with the molasses-like flavour of the kuromitsu and the nuttiness of the roasted soybeans, everything melded together and melted on the tongue perfectly.

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At this point, the clear, glossy globe reminded us that we were actually eating water from sacred mountains. We took a moment to try to take it all in but were quickly distracted by the tempting fruit inside.

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▼ Time to retrieve those jewels!

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▼ At first glance, these look similar to fu, a traditional wheat gluten found in Japanese miso soups.

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▼ However, they’re actually peeled blueberries, with a very soft texture and mild flavour.

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▼ The pink and purple colour variation brings a festive touch to the dish.

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So how did it taste? All in all, this was a refreshing dessert that we would definitely have again in the middle of a sweltering summer. How did it feel to eat pure water from sacred Japanese mountains? Now that was truly amazing.

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Photos © RocketNews24
Featured Image: Gyukaku