Castella has been a popular cake in Japan for a long time but it seems to be different from traditional Wagashi. It looks like a Western sponge cake, made of eggs, flour, sugar and starch syrup.
In addition, it is more sweet than ordinary Wagashi.
Castella is thought to have been brought by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. Since then, Castella is a sweet which represents Nagasaki city. Nagasaki people like sweet food so Castella has been loved for centuries.
Several Portuguese and Spanish cakes are considered as the origin of Castella, but no one knows for sure.
The texture of Castella is moist and soft. Its taste is unique, little different from ordinary pound cakes. Its yellow and brown colors are from eggs and brown sugar, not from artificial coloring. Many Japanese like to eat Castella with no cream decoration.
The feature of Wagashi is taking advantage of natural flavors. Although the origin is Portuguese, Castella has progressed as a Wagashi.
Today, Castella is very popular in all areas of Japan. There are some famous Castella manufacturers such as Bunemido and Fukusaya.
A large, pound cake type Castella is popular as a gift. A small, spheral Castella, called “Suzu Castella” is very common at festivals.