Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Squid Ink Flavored Manju

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I’ve been in Japan for more than 8 years, and I still come across the weirdest food. This is a squid ink (I repeat, squid ink) flavored manju. Actually, it kind of tasted like molasses.




Edible Mount Fuji

Sunday, June 11th, 2006


Yesterday, my friend Hiromi gave me this Japanese “okashi” (traditional sweet) she brought back from her trip to Mount Fuji. It was mainly made of red bean past and gelatin, and was quite good. Thank you very much.

Japanese Snacks 4

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

Virtually every municipality in Japan has at least one famous local product, and among these come Japanese snacks, also called “okashi”. “Okashi” literally means “cake”, but it includes much more than that. I was tempted to translate it by “confectionery”, but confectionery being generally sweet, I had to settle for “snacks”. Then again, the image of snacks in western culture is often one of generic junk food, and Japanese snacks are much more than that. Although there are tons of “modern” Japanese snacks which could be considered as junk food, the ones I’m talking about are the more traditional ones. Some of these items have been designed and perfected for centuries (yes, centuries), and some makers keep the secret of their recipes with their lives, as they have been passed down for generations. Many areas in Japan are synonym of these local snacks, and I’ve often been told upon returning from a trip, “Oh, that town is famous for snack X”. In this series, I introduce some of the Japanese snacks I have the privilege to come across. Enjoy!

Satsuma Dori
Satsuma is the old name of Kagoshima Prefecture, and dori means “chicken”. This particular snack is famous in Kagoshima, and is meant to look (vaguely) like a chicken. It’s a butter cookie made of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, soy-bean oil, salt, almonds (placed on the cookie to make it look like the chicken’s wing) and rum. I got these from one of my private students (and friend) in Ishinomaki, Mika. The cookie itself is hard, and the mixed taste of butter and rum is somewhat reminiscent of gingerbread. They’re great with a tall glass of milk!


The box wrapping


The box


Inside the box


Individual wrapping


The chicken-shaped cookie, with the almond wing in the middle

Japanese Snacks 3

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

Virtually every municipality in Japan has at least one famous local product, and among these come Japanese snacks, also called “okashi”. “Okashi” literally means “cake”, but it includes much more than that. I was tempted to translate it by “confectionery”, but confectionery being generally sweet, I had to settle for “snacks”. Then again, the image of snacks in western culture is often one of generic fast food, and Japanese snacks are much more than that. Some of these items have been designed and perfected for centuries (yes, centuries), and some makers keep the secret of their recipes with their lives, as they have been passed down for generations. Many areas in Japan are synonym of these local snacks, and I’ve often been told upon returning from a trip, “Oh, that town is famous for snack X”. In this series, I introduce some of the Japanese snacks I have the privilege to come across. Enjoy!

Karintou
Although karintou are not made only in one region, some areas in Japan are famous for them. Generally, they are made of wheat flour, sugar, water, yeast, and salt, and glossed with either white or brown liquid sugar. The funny thing is that the white ones taste almost exactly like Frosted Flakes, whereas the black ones taste more like molasses. Our vice-principal brought back a huge box from Iwadeyama. It’s just too bad that they were meant for everybody, because I sure wanted to put a handful in a bowl and pour milk all over them!


A plate of black karintou


Close up


A plate of sesame karintou


Close up


They’re like huge Frosted Flakes

Japanese Snacks 2

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

Virtually every municipality in Japan has at least one famous local product, and among these come Japanese snacks, also called “okashi”. “Okashi” literally means “cake”, but it includes much more than that. I was tempted to translate it by “confectionery”, but confectionery being generally sweet, I had to settle for “snacks”. Then again, the image of snacks in western culture is often one of generic fast food, and Japanese snacks are much more than that. Some of these items have been designed and perfected for centuries (yes, centuries), and some makers keep the secret of their recipes with their lives, as they have been passed down for generations. Many areas in Japan are synonym of these local snacks, and I’ve often been told upon returning from a trip, “Oh, that town is famous for snack X”. In this series, I introduce some of the Japanese snacks I have the privilege to come across. Enjoy!

Hijiri
“Hijiri”, literally “Saint”, is a famous product from Kyoto. It’s a very soft, triangle-shaped dough filled with azuki paste. It’s not very sweet.


The package.


A bunch of hijiri.


The green one is green tea flavored,
and the other one is cinnamon flavored.


Inside view.