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Sea bream is the nickname for a species of sea fish called tai in Japan. Although this food looks like a fish, taiyaki is a small pie with a filling, making it a sweet treat. Japanese street food is aesthetically pleasing and, of course, delicious.

 Many years before its appearance, imagawayaki had a special place among Japanese desserts of the Edo period (1603-1868). They were made of thicker batter and had a rounded form filled with a sweet paste of red beans. Also used as sweet fillings included custard or preserves, and with salty fillings such as curry, meat, and vegetables, the imagavayaki had a savory flavor.

No one knows the exact origin of the iconic taiyaki fish shape, but legend tells us that imagawayaki sellers tried to make fish-shaped cakes since the tai fish is a symbol of good luck. The word tai is like the word medetai, which means happy or prosperous. This newly shaped snack sold better, and so the taiyaki, made of thinner dough, with a crispy crust and echoing the features (head, scales, and fins) of an actual fish, became a hit in the dessert world.

First, the taiyaki is filled with stuffing, joined two halves at the edges, and baked until golden brown. The texture of the taiyaki is crispy around the edges and a bit chewier and denser—compared to typical pancakes—to the filling in the center. This is done so that the taiyaki will hold up to being stuffed.

Although the traditional filling of sweet red bean paste is still popular, modern taiyaki chefs' ingenuity has led to new fillings and flavors. Custard, chocolate (including Nutella hazelnut chocolate), cheese, or sweet potato, which is a local favorite in Taiwanese desserts, are just some of the many options for the spoiled sweet tooth. Some coffee shops have invented savory fillings such as dumplings (gyoza), sausages, cheese, and even curry.

Ice cream taiyaki is especially popular in the summer, which can be found on selfies on the Internet and around the world, especially in major cities such as New York City. It's a relatively recent addition to the taiyaki lineup - an open-mouth fish you can fill with your favorite treat.

Another modern interpretation of taiyaki is puku puku tai, a crispy fish-shaped snack filled with mousse. The sweet mousse filling comes in different flavors, like caramel, chocolate, strawberry, and others.

Today, taiyaki continues to be popular in Tokyo, Japan, and worldwide. You can find them at food stands during festivals or matsuri in Japan, but you can also find them frozen in some supermarkets. You can always try making them yourself using a taiyaki mold, slightly thinned pancake/waffle batter, and your favorite filling.

You can use one of ALDKitchen's best commercial-grade waffle makers designed to make delicious taiyaki waffles. Due to the independent heat control, you can bake crispy goodies with jam or ice cream in an easy, simple, and comfortable way with your family at home or in your store, coffee bar, or restaurant with daily high usage volume.

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