In Okinawan language it is pronounced machikaji まちかじ (松風). The 2 kanji that make up the name are “matsu” 松 meaning pine and “kaze” 風 meaning wind.
Machikaji is a type of senbei せんべい (cracker or cookie) that is colored red (well, more like pink), tied in knot. A red knot is an auspicious symbols, usually used for marriage, so it is commonly eaten at engagement or marriage ceremonies. Machikaji does not have to be limited to just engagements, so it is also eaten for other big celebratory occasions as well.
Today I purchased a machikaji at a shop called Zaha kashiten 座波菓子店 (菓子店 kashiten means “sweets shop”). I brought it home and ate it with tea; it was very delicious. A little sweet but not too much, with a little sesame flavor and crispy.
As a side note: I recently received a photo of my friend’s “engagement” (actually, official entry into her husband’s family registry) and there was a large plate of traditional treats including machikaji~~ I was amused.
address for Zaha kashiten: 沖縄県那覇市首里石嶺町3-6-1
Machikaji can also be found at Nakamura Confectionary 中村製菓 in Shuri: https://goo.gl/maps/hhGTkMhGSoG2
I have also spotted Machikaji in the Makishi Market~~ see if you can find it with a few other traditional Okinawan treats!
Interested in more traditional Okinawan and Ryukuan sweets? Read more: