blossoms and leaves find their way into many culinary preparations. An pan (sweet bean jam filled buns) topped
with salty-but-sweetly aromatic cherry flowers were popularized by Emperor
Meiji more than one hundred years ago. Classic sakura mochi made from steamed sticky rice and sweet beans are wrapped in the salt-preserved leaves. Sakura
yu, a broth-like tea served at many weddings, is made by infusing the
preserved blossoms in warm water. Nowadays even bagels (!) are
decorated with salted cherry blossoms in the springtime to add a seasonal touch.