Castella cakes are a staple across Japan, even appearing as adorable mini versions at nearly every summer festival in the country. But the history of this popular treat actually originated thousands of miles away.

Traditionally a Portuguese cake, the castella was introduced to Japan by a visitor in the early 1600s. The founder of Fukusaya, which is famous for its castellas, was taught by the visitor to bake the cake, established Fukusaya in 1624, and the rest is history.

Fukusaya is based in Nagasaki, but also has stores in Fukuoka and Tokyo, and its products are available at many of Japan’s top department stores. Its legendary castella is known for the crunchy sugar crystals that remain on the bottom of the cake, giving it a unique texture even after baking. It is a simple delicacy that everyone should try at least once!