Anpan is kind of a halfway house between traditional Japanese sweets (made with sweet rice flour or soybean flour) and Western sweet rolls made from wheat. The odd bit is that it uses Japanese yeast, the Japanese way.
And for once, we can thank the Meiji period for all those unemployed samurai!
So yeah, this is a bit later in history than Amatsuki prefers, but obviously taste conquers all. Don’t forget to drink it with green tea, the Akatsuki way!
So let’s summarize. If it’s just sweet rice flour like a little cake, it’s “mochi.” If you use just rice flour and fill it with red bean or other stuff, it’s “daifuku” or “mochi.” If you use wheat flour, rice powder, and buckwheat flour and fill it, it’s “manju.” If it’s a leavened wheat flour roll with a filling, it’s “anpan.” (The “pan” part is from the Portuguese for “bread.”) And if it’s something else-pan, it’s a filled bread of some sort, whether sweet or savory.
This is the time of year to be eating chestnuts and chestnut-filled Japanese sweets. I’m not super-enthusiastic about Japanese chestnut flavor, but I will eat it. I like roasted chestnuts better, though. (And it’s possible that chestnut paste is something better made from scratch.)