I love taiyaki, those odd little confections from Japan in the shape of a sea bream, but actually with no fish flavor at all. They are a mix of a pancake-like batter with a sweet filling, often a sweet bean filling make from Azuki beans. As a child, sometimes when we left the California Flower Market and there was time, we would drive out to Benkyodo, where they had a taiyaki grill. They would make them fresh throughout the day and you would get a large, crispy pastry filled with warm bean paste. They were so good. Today, I happened to be near a store in San Mateo that makes tiny ones in both the azuki filling and other flavors more modern than the old azuki bean flavor. I got some azuki (my old friend) and some caramel-coffee (just had to try). I still love them, even is they are not 'authentic'.
I know this, this was authentic for me today, as authentic and traditional for me as it was when I was a 5 year old boy walking with my dad and my hot 'goldfish donut'.