One of the sweets that can be found at any cake shops in Japan but hardly seen in Europe is a "roll cake" (ロールケーキ）, Swiss roll in English.
When I was living in Paris (2007-2010), I was always looking for the patisseries where I could buy these sponge cake rolls. Finally I discovered one, but the owner was Japanese and about a half of the customers were Japanese. I'm wondering if a Swiss roll has little appeal for French people for some reason?
Ｉn Japan a great variety of roll cakes is available. The flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, green tea, chestnut, etc. Coarsely chopped strawberries, mangoes and other fruits are sometimes added to the cream. The price varies depending on the size and ingredients, but it is usually between 1,000 yen to 1,500 yen a roll.
This is the one I recently ate. It s called Samurai Roll. Can you see the Chinese character (kanji) 侍 marked on the cake? It reads samurai (さむらい）. Why samurai? Sorry, I have no idea, but it was super yummy with bitter caramel flavor.
I liked the package design too. A samurai is trying to cut a cake with a sward, saying "I have to slash this Samurai roll." (Sorry the photo is blurry.)
This is the result. Of course it is not the samurai but me who cut it.
This is another cake roll I bought the other day. Isn't it pretty? It is a special spring item.
Look! Strawberries inside!
OK, today's useful expression is: ロールケーキはありますか？ Roru-keki wa arimasuka? Do you have cake rolls here?