candy

I don’t know about you, but eating fruit as a kid was kind of a chore. Sure, fruit tasted good, but candy tasted so much better. Now that I’m a fully-functioning adult, though, I eat fruit for fun and candy isn’t all that appealing any more.

But this handy device might help to make a lot of people’s childhoods much sweeter since it enables you to combine fruit and sweet, sweet candy into one treat. Behold: the banana-stuffer, aka “Sonna Choco Banana!”

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RocketKitchen makes a giant Hi-Chew candy from over 1,400 Hi-Chew pieces!

When you talk about soft candy in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is Hi-Chew made by Morinaga. These delightfully chewy candies pack a mouthful of flavor in a small soft package. The flavors can range from your run-of -the-mill candy flavors like strawberry, grape and orange, to prefecture specific flavors like Hokkaido’s Yubari melon. The candy has gotten so popular that you can even find it pretty easily in stores (and even a factory) in the United States as well.

Anyone who has eaten a Hi-Chew knows that the taste and texture is so nice that just one piece is never good enough. Even when you try putting two of them in your mouth it doesn’t quite hit the spot. Soon you realize you’ve eaten the entire pack and have to buy another one! If only there was a larger version of the candy that we could sink our teeth into. RocketKitchen isn’t talking just medium or large size Hi-Chew either, we are going gigantic!

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Young Japanese artist crafts exquisite animal-shaped candy at his shop in Asakusa

Remember those traditional Japanese sweets from last summer that were simply divine? Oh, and let’s not forget those cupcakes that were almost too beautiful to eat!

Japan sure knows how to elevate its food to an unparalleled level of art, and today we’d like to introduce you to the works of another master Japanese craftsman of sweets. His life’s passion is creating exquisitely detailed animal-shaped candy, which are so astoundingly intricate that it probably won’t be long before a museum asks to put them on display!

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Fascinating Meiji-era candy ad claims to help you get fat, get sex appeal

Nintendo, Suntory, Mitsubishi… what do they all have in common? Well, they’re all companies established during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) that are still thriving today. Call it nepotism if you like, but companies are often handed down from father to son, which is why Japan has more old companies than anywhere else in the world.

Confectionery company Asadaame is another one of these Meiji-era companies. Established in 1887, they’re still selling candy to this day. And recently an advertisement for their candy was discovered that dates back from those early days – and shows some very different attitudes towards physical standards of attractiveness

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Make your own “wagashi” Japanese sweets at home with these creation kits

Pretty much anyone can pick up some brownie mix at the local grocer, crack an egg into a bowl, mix, and end up with a piping hot tray of delicious goodies. That’s child’s play (literally, if you’re using an Easy Bake).

It’s another thing altogether to create some truly Pinterest-worthy “wagashi” Japanese sweets. You know what we’re talking about: The wabi-sabi-riffic, colorful eye-and-mouth candy we’ve gushed over here on this very site time and again.

Wagashi are equally intimidating items to make for foreigners and Japanese alike, often calling for seemingly exotic ingredients, mysterious baking methods and coming in hard-to-replicate shapes and sizes. But, lucky for enthusiasts, there’s now a series of home kits available online to make the process a (relative) breeze!

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Have ridiculously expensive tastes? Set your wallet on fire with these Andy Warhol candy tins

Sometimes Japan produces things that are totally worth the high asking price if you really want them: like the US$16,000 wood-carved dragon guitar, or the $1.4 million golden Godzilla. But then there are the things that make you laugh out loud when you see the price: like $18 per cup Geisha Starbucks coffee or $100 rainbow-colored tissues.

A set of 30 newly-released candy tins based on the artwork of Andy Warhol definitely falls into the “excuse me what?!” category. Sure they’re beautifully made and come inside lacquered medicine boxes, but you won’t believe how much they asking for them.

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“60-Minute Candy” is closest we’ll get to Wonka’s “Everlasting Gobstopper,” good for diets, too!

A new diet product has been catching on in Japan recently, despite it paradoxically being basically a giant ball of sugar that seems like it came straight out of Willy Wonka’s fictitious candy factory.

The “60-Minute Candy” is increasingly being talked about on the Twitterverse by Japanese women who are passing word on to each other that the long-lasting lollipop is great for suppressing cravings for even less healthy alternatives.

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Don’t know whether to buy diamonds or candy for White Day? Sweet Jewels could be just the trick!

On White Day, an unabashedly commercial holiday on March 14, Japanese men are expected to buy presents in return for the chocolate they received on equally commercial holiday Valentine’s Day. And with a recent survey showing that limited-edition desserts and sweets are top of women’s wish-lists for White Day, this new offering from confectioner Ameya Eitaro could tick all the boxes.

With designs based on real diamond cuts such as the Koh-i-Noor and the Pasha of Egypt, these are one sweet treat that certainly looks expensive.

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Japanese Twitter user spends three hours knitting an edible scarf out of gummy candy

Mom always told us not to play with our food, but we’ll have to make an exception for this crafty use of candy. Using only a pair of chopsticks and 18.9 meters (62 feet) of gummy string, one intrepid Twitter user from Japan managed to knit herself an edible scarf. The evidence and entire creation process coming at you after the jump!

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Hi-Chew is such a hit that the Japanese candy is getting its own factory in North Carolina

Every time I go back to the States to see my family, before hopping on the plane, I swing by the convenience store to pick up some treats for my nieces and nephew. I figure if I can’t do anything about being “Uncle Who Only Visits Once a Year,” then I’m at least going to be “Uncle Who Only Visits Once a Year, but Brings Candy!”

The stuff I get for them isn’t anything particularly fancy. A few pieces of melon bread, whatever the newest mix of matcha green tea and chocolate is, and maybe a few packs of fruity Hi-Chew candy. This year might be my last chance to score some easy points with that last one, though, since in 2015 the makers of Hi-Chew are opening a factory in the U.S. to satisfy America’s sweet tooth with Japanese candy.

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Drinkable Hi-Chew coming to a Japanese convenience store near you!

Now you can drink your candy and eat it, too! In just a few days, everyone’s favorite Japanese candy, Hi-Chew, will be available as a (probably) delicious drink!

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Happy Pocky Day! Japan celebrates with huge towers and crazy art featuring the beloved snack

The vagaries of reading in Japanese mean that often the same text or numbers can be said a variety of ways. For example, some of the many readings for 2 and 9 and “ni” and “ku,” which combine to form niku, the Japanese word for “meat,” which is how November 29 became known in some circles as Meat Day. Going from the carnivorous to the carnal, 8 can be read as “hai,” making both November 28 and February 8 observed as Knee-High Socks Days.

Sometimes, though, you don’t need pun-filled pronunciations for an excuse to start a pseudo-holiday. Writing November 11 all in numerals gets you 11-11, and all those vertical lines look to some like a handful of enticing Pocky sticks. And so, this week Japan celebrated Pocky Day by not only devouring boxes of the stuff, but by turning the chocolate-covered treats into works of physical and photographic art.

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Hi-Chew fruit candies re-invented in DIY food creations

The Japanese fruit-chew candy, Hi-Chew, is getting more and more popular these days and it can be found all over the world, even in the Boston Red Socks’ locker room. Some Japanese consumers, however, seem to be sick of the same-old rectangle shape and chewiness and are starting to find new ways to eat it.

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We try to improve the taste of Tabasco jelly beans by putting them on pizza

Tabasco, with its spicy and tangy flavors, is a popular condiment to put on pizza or pasta in Japan. The writers in our Japanese office love the hot sauce brand so much that they jumped at the chance to taste them in bean form…jelly bean form. That’s right, the Jelly Belly Factory has created Tabasco flavored jelly beans and they’re available in Japan!

But unfortunately, the flavor of Tabasco jelly beans can be summed up in one word: disgusting. At least that’s what our reporter told us after biting into one. He claimed that the flavor was just too close to the original, making for a terrible candy…which got us thinking. If Tabasco Jelly Beans taste too much like the real thing, maybe they’d taste delicious if used as a condiment…on pizza. And so our taste test experiment began.

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Sailor Moon candy, dolls, and music boxes! More new merch than you can shake a Moon Stick at

We recently took a look at a new batch of Sailor Moon aprons, but if you’ve been following the celestial-themed magical girls for very long, you knew that wasn’t going to be the end of cool and quirky tie-ins for the franchise. The product planning team of merchandiser Bandai apparently never sleeps, and those aprons were just the opening salvo of another round of Sailor Moon goodies, including one that’ll help fans with the first part of their quest to eat, sleep, and breathe the hit anime.

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Skull-shaped lollipop holders: Because liking candy doesn’t mean you’re not one bad dude

For the most part, we tend to think of candy as being something for kids. Sweet flavors just seem to go with the sweet era of youthful innocence.

But what if you’re an adult who craves a sugar rush, but you still want the world to know that you’re a stone-cold badass? Then you carry your candy inside a skull-shaped lollipop case.

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Traditional Japanese candy gets fancy: Konpeito comes in wine, chocolate, and green tea varieties

We’re sure you’ve seen those little bumpy balls of colorful sugar in Japanese candy stores. They’re called konpeito and were one of the first candies to be produced in Japan. They’re so popular that the little sugary spheres make guest appearances in several high-profile Japanese productions including Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda, and Spirited Away (remember the little stars fed to the soot sprites?). But what is really just a blob of hardened sweet stuff that can be bought for less than 100 yen (US$1) starts to get really expensive when you add luxury flavors. Let’s take a look at some of the high-class konpeito you can buy in Japan, some of which costs as much as 8,500 yen ($78)!

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These candy-inspired chairs look good enough to eat

If you ever wished you could visit the infamous candy house from Hansel and Gretel, then have we got the chair for you! Looking absolutely delectable and fairytale-ready, this “Hard Candy Stool” from Taiwanese designer, Jojo Chuang is the perfect combination of function and fantasy.

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What does this Japanese candy have to do with the Red Sox? Quite a lot, actually

The Boston Red Sox have consistently had Japanese players since 2007, when they signed Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima. There’s one thing Japanese players bring to the team that’s been overlooked until now, though: delicious imported Japanese candy.

People around the world love Japanese candy, be it endless varieties of Kit Kat flavours, or do-it-yourself candy sushi. There are even companies that will mail it to you monthly for a small fee (or a hefty fee – choose wisely, readers!). And it seems that recently, Red Sox players and staff have been going crazy over Japan’s long-standing fruit chew top-sellers, Hi-Chew.

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Noodles for candy lovers: Gummy Udon arrives just in time for White Day

I have a minor confession to make: I’m really not a fan of udon noodles. When asked to rank the big three – namely ramen, soba and udon – I’ll give my answer from most to least liked in that exact order. Ramen is quite frankly the man and hard to go wrong with, and soba is, although far simpler, nearly always delicious even hot or cold. But udon I just can’t seem to make friends with. Far heavier than its other noodle brethren, I find myself tiring of udon’s flavour even halfway through a meal, and those thick, heavy wheat-flour noodles slip from my chopsticks and splash into my soup. Every. Single. Time.

But these awesome new gelatinous “gummy” udon noodles, I think I could handle.

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