We all love candy, don’t we? But how would you feel about candy that, rather than tasting like peaches and cream, tastes like pork stock ramen soup?
‘Tis the season to eat Pocky! Celebrate Pocky Day with these amusing (and tantalizing) tweets from Japan!
Ah Halloween. After Christmas, it’s easily the best time of the year to be a kid. You get to dress up, scare people with your friends, and then best of all… go to your local organized crime branch to get a giant bag of candy.
Such has been the annual tradition on Halloween for children who visit the headquarters of the Japanese yakuza group Yamaguchi-gumi in Kobe. But this year, Halloween has had an “unfortunate accident” and been cancelled, meaning the mob will be handing out no candy.
Wait… what? Japanese mafia? Halloween candy? What do these things have in common? Read on to find out!
With the Japanese reverence for aesthetically pleasing food, it’s no surprise that candy crafting artisan Shinri Tezuka has made a name for himself with his fantastic sugar creations. As we reported previously, he has been in charge of his own shop, Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin, since 2013, and is perhaps best known for his incredibly lifelike candy goldfish.
Since our last report, Tezuka has been so busy raising his profile by appearing on numerous Japanese television shows and at various events, he’s now been able to open up a second store, right underneath Tokyo Skytree!
It’s no secret that kids covet toys and sweets more than just about anything else, so some combination of the two is always going to be a big hit. In Japan, you can buy little kits which enable you to mould and make your own sweets out of gummy “clay”.
But it’s not just the kids who are having fun playing with their food – some grown-ups have been sharing their sweet creations on Twitter, and boy, some of them look unappetising!
Morinaga’s Hi-Chew is one of Japan’s favorite candies. Its popularity has spread across the world and you can often find different flavors of Hi-Chew at your local store. Fans have gone to great lengths to show their appreciation for the flavorful chewy snack over the years, including our Japanese team who once even created their own giant Hi-Chew, thus disproving the old adage that “bigger is better”.
Now, to celebrate the candy’s 40th anniversary, Morinaga is releasing some special new flavors and an extra-special version of their most popular flavor that will become the first refrigerated Hi-Chew in history.
Japan is well-known for its creative flavors when it comes to soda, snacks, and candy. Some are epically delicious. Others not so much. And this latest collaboration between Japanese candy company UHA and Hello Kitty’s Sanrio probably falls into the latter camp.
For those unaware, Sanrio has a wide variety of characters other than Hello Kitty, including KIRIMI-chan, a cute slice of sassy salted salmon. We’re not sure why an anthropomorphic fish fillet was chosen to be made into a UHA Puccho flavor, but it’s already happened so there’s nothing we can do but try it!
To see if this flavor is tasty or trash, we assigned our own brave RocketNews24 reporter P.K. Sanjun to try a few pieces for posterity. Does he savor the salty salmon goodness or does he spit it out? Read on to find out!
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!”
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!
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!
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.