After tasting the sweets at Tokyo’s oldest department store, there was one famous brand of Japanese biscuits that went home with the Hollywood movie star.
When celebrities want to lay low and go unnoticed in Japan they often don a cap and sunglasses, and sometimes even a white face mask, to avoid the glare of the public eye, and Hollywood movie star Leonardo DiCaprio was spotted wearing all three when he visited the country last month.
He may have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the fact that he decided to wander around the Nihonbashi branch of Mitsukoshi, Tokyo’s oldest department store.
According to Japanese media, staff noticed the man, who stood out from the crowd by wearing sunglasses indoors, as he wandered around the basement-level gourmet section for an hour, tasting all the sweets offered to him by employees behind the various store counters before settling on one special selection to take home.
DiCaprio’s cover was blown by his penchant for Japanese sweets, including the black sesame steamed bun seen below.
The sweets that stole the show for DiCaprio though, came from Morozoff, one of Japan’s leading luxury confectionery makers, founded in Kobe by Russian emigre Fedor Dmitrievich Morozoff in 1931. Today, the company has close to 1,000 restaurants and cafes across Japan, and is a famous go-to brand for gift-givers looking for high-quality sweets, particularly their biscuits, which Morozoff has become famous for.
While it’s not clear whether or not DiCaprio was aware of Morozoff’s esteemed reputation before making his purchase, the flavour of their cookies obviously tickled his palate, as they were the one purchase DiCaprio took home with him after his hour-long department store visit.
Mitsukoshi’s flagship store, which was first founded in 1673, retains a lot of the grand decor from its heyday, including lions at the entrance, old-fashioned light fittings, and retro signage to guide customers to the gourmet area on the basement level.
The underground level of Japanese department stores is often referred to as “depa chika” (department store underground), and this is where customers go to find high-quality traditional and Western food, set up in beautiful display cases.
Morozoff counter, which was gleaming with all sorts of delights.
There were jellies, chocolates, cakes and…a wide variety of biscuits. How would we know which ones attracted the attention of DiCaprio? One of the friendly staff members immediately point towards their Arcadia brand of biscuits.
She said she was there on the day the star visited as he stood out as a celebrity with his dark visors, cap and mask, and the fact that he was also accompanied by two attractive models, and a couple of large bodyguards who followed their every move, meant all eyes were on them as the film star made his purchase.
After undoing the wrapping, there lies an elegant box cover, before getting to the actual tin box itself.
The tin features a beautiful design that’s become synonymous with this brand of biscuit.
Inside the box are four individually wrapped boxes, containing the following cookie flavours: Almond, Chocolate Chip, Cashew Nut, and Mixed Nuts.
According to the company, the Arcadia line of biscuits features high-quality nuts as their star ingredient, and looking at each bite-sized morsel here, it was clear that the nut was the centrepiece.
Treated with the utmost care during the cooking process, each beautifully presented cookie is a delight to look at, but what really struck us was their strong nutty, buttery aromas, which was slightly reminiscent of the scent of buttered popcorn you’d find in a movie theatre.
It was just like eating a beautifully crunchy roasted cashew nut, with the addition of a thin and crispy buttery biscuit. The balance of simple flavours was superb, with the nut and butter playing off each other in a way that was absolutely moreish.
The Chocolate Chip, which looked very different to its cashew nut companion.
Darker in colour, these cookies were speckled with the tiniest chunks of chocolate! Filled with sweet aromas, after biting into one it was clear that this was not your average chocolate chip biscuit.
Despite their tiny size, these cookies were packed with flavour, as they also contain small slivers of almonds, which are a great accompaniment to the rich, sweet flavour of chocolate. By using small chocolate chip pieces, the rich taste is evenly spread throughout, making for a well-balanced roundup of sweetness and nuttiness, all with a satisfying crunch to boot.
The Almond selection is another impressive offering, with each small biscuit offering up a whole nut in a beautifully presented manner.
Less buttery than the Cashew variety, these also contain small pieces of almond throughout the biscuit, amping up the nutty flavours and edging out the sweetness.
If you love your almonds, this little piece of crunchy goodness will send you to seventh heaven!
The finely chopped ingredients are added to Morozoff’s divine biscuit dough to create a cookie that’s well-rounded and flavourful, and perfect with a side of tea.
You certainly don’t have to feel guilty about eating these, given their teeny tiny size, which also means you get to enjoy far more cookies than you’d expect to find in each box.
And at 1,080 yen (US$9.87) per set, it doesn’t cost a lot to indulge in Japanese sweets like a famous Hollywood star!
Feeling like making a trip to Tokyo now? Contact Holiday Tours at 03-62866218 for assistance and enquiries to arrange and make a booking for your next sweet-tooth holiday.
Article first appeared in SoraNews24