When I first visited Japan, I really thought that veganism was an alien concept to most, as not many people even knew what veganism was when it came up in conversation! And because of this, I thought that vegan people & especially purposefully-vegan-products & produce (excluding a few restaurants with vegan options) were simply non-existent!
Lately, though, I’ve been beginning to realise that this is definitely not the case!
After my recent adventure to the Green Food Festa, in Tokyo, I had the honour of meeting a ton of wonderful vegans & vegan business owners, including Kaori, owner and wonder-chef at vegan & gluten-free sweet shop, Coconut Dream.
About Coconut Dream
As I walked up to the stall, I was greeted with the enticing smell of freshly baked, colourful sweets and goodies such as cakes, cookies, chocolate, bread & packets of varied granola.
I was warmly welcomed by Kaori who explained her inspiration for her shop:
All of her vegan eatables are influenced American sweets after spending a lot of her career studying subjects such as Vienna sweets and New York style plate desserts as well as running various American sweet stores in New York & Japan.
After realising that she had an intolerance to wheat, eggs & soy, in September of 2014, Kaori was driven to open Coconut Dream, the gluten-free sweets shop that had no use of wheat, eggs, milk & soy.
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Not only are all of her tantalising foods completely homemade, organic, vegan & gluten-free, they are also free from chemicals (such as aluminium in the baking powder) & refined sugar, using mainly the natural sweetness of the plant-based ingredients such as dried fruit or sweetened with brown sugar.
Some of her sugar-free products include: chocolate with 100% cacao, carob chocolate & granola. Coconut Dream also offers a range of nut-free treats for people with nut allergies.
Aside from American style sweets & delights, Coconut Dream offers a range of caffeine-free herbal teas & refreshments that are made from brown rice bran.
Something that impressed me about Coconut Dream, was the attitude towards plastic waste & waste in general.
The packaging is kept as simple as possible to reduce plastic waste in store, and it is encouraged for shoppers to bring their own bags & packaging.
Kaori expressed that the money that would’ve been used for all of the extra plastic packagings gets spent on better materials and flyer advertising instead.
In Japan, there is a lot more plastic waste than in other countries that I have visited so it was refreshing to find a vegan company that is actively promoting less waste.
Looking at the array of beautiful soul food, I knew I had to try something & let the world know about it! Although the choice was difficult to pick just one food, I decided to go for the blueberry cupcake.
Other cupcakes I could’ve chosen from the stall were choc peanut, apple cinnamon, sesame & sweet potato & pineapple, all costing 400 yen.
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I will start by saying that it was absolutely beautiful to look at. It looked completely organic & pure, with little blueberry bombs spilling out & coating it.
It looked soft and juicy all at the same time and it was definitely not misleading!
This cupcake had so much texture! It was a mix of juicy, soft & fluffy all at the same time! I couldn’t quite believe how Kaori had managed to pack so much texture into one little cupcake!
The next thing I analysed was the actual taste.
The thing I’d have to say I loved most about this cupcake, was the non-overpowering, subtle sweetness that was savoured! I had been informed when speaking to Kaori that this particular cupcake was sweetened naturally without sugar but in fact by the blueberries within the cupcake!
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I could really taste the organic & clean ingredients within this food and it ingrained & enhanced everything that Coconut Dream stood for.
It confirmed that yes indeed, you can enjoy the beautiful & simple pleasures of healthy & delicious soul food even if you are someone with allergies or a vegan in Japan!
Be sure to go follow Coconut Dream on their social networks & go visit their shop in person! Get all of the need to know info below!
Kawasaki City Tama Ward 1-7-4 Higashi Ikuta
11: 00-19: 00 (Wednesday and Thursdays closed)
Odakyu Line Mukaigaoka Amusement Station South Exit 5 minutes on foot
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