- Main lore areas
Kounosu City, Kazo City, Hanyu City, Gyoda City
- Main ingredients used
Manjuu, glutinous rice
- History/origin/related events
Igamanju, which is said to have originated in Konosu City (formerly Kawasato-cho), is a local delicacy for special occasions that has been handed down from generation to generation in the breadbasket region of northeastern Saitama Prefecture. In the area where many farmers have grown wheat as a back crop, flour dishes such as udon and manju have developed so much that the phrase "udon for lunch in the morning with manju" was born. Iga manju, a steamed combination of manju and sekihan (red rice), has an unexpectedly sweet and sour flavor and firm texture, and once you try it, you will become addicted to it. The name "iga-manju" comes from the fact that the manju is covered with sekihan (red rice), which looks like the "iga" of a chestnut. There are various theories as to the origin of the manju, such as, "Glutinous rice was expensive, so the manju was placed inside the sekihan to increase the bulk," or "A farmer's wife steamed sekihan and manju together in a rice steamer to save time and effort, and they ended up sticking together.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It has been made and eaten at home as a good luck charm for festivals and celebrations in spring, summer, and fall. Today, they are sold at Japanese confectionery shops in northeastern Saitama Prefecture, and each store offers unique igamanju. Today, it is not only a delicacy for special occasions, but also a local delicacy that is well-loved by local people.
- How to eat
The manju is covered with sekihan (red rice) and steamed. Some simply put sekihan on top of the manju, others cover the entire manju with sekihan, and still others sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the sekihan, depending on the household or store.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is sold at Japanese confectionery stores in the prefecture, and is also made at home.