Welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese sweets, treats and snacks. Today we’re going to show you 6 Dagashi snacks that you should try today. Of course, there are hundreds to try in total but here are just 6 of the best to whet your appetite for your next visit. Bring the children of course, after all these sweets were intended for them in the first place. Take out your change and enjoy these cheap culturally iconic snacks.
We are starting off with a personal favourite of mine. Umaibou is a stick which resembles a large cheese puff in texture. These sticks of goodness come in many flavours and come in both savoury and sweet. These things are possibly one of the most popular Japanese snacks there ever was. It’s still popular today with many being sold still in convenience stores such as seven eleven. If you have a sweet tooth, then you are catered for and if you love the savour just as I do then the savoury ones will definitely hit the spot. These snacks are also now famous all around the world with many of them being sold in western countries such as USA, Canada, Great Britain and Australia.
Okay, I’ll admit, to western people this one may seem a little strange for a candy, but it seriously is sold in the candy section and the old Dagashi stores. It is a tiny pot of ramen that can be bought for very little money. It’s meant for the children that wanted a little more of a snack than just sweets and candies. This pot is so tiny that it’s likely to be finished within a matter of seconds after adding hot water. Try this one if your just a little peckish before digging into some sweets.
Okay, you may find this one a little strange. This is Sakura Daikon. If you don’t know what a Daikon is then it’s a Japanese white coloured radish. A larger radish than those found in western supermarkets that has a pure white colour and a little sweetness to it. The Sakura Daikon became a sweet after it was pickled and put into packages. These are huge in Japan. Think of this snack in a comparable way to a pickled onion or pickled cucumber in the United States of America or Great Britain and then you will have almost got it. It’s not exactly like those but very similar.
This one is very unique indeed. Kinakobo may not seem tasty but it really is and it is very popular indeed. Kinakobo is roasted soy bean flour mixed with sugar and syrup and formed into fingers or sticks. They are quite small but are very sweet and comforting. They usually come in packs of three and that usually is enough before going onto something else. If you are from the west and can’t seem to grasp the idea of a sweet with soy bean flour in it then I urge you to give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
This sweet is very special indeed. It is said to be the oldest Dagashi candy, sweet or snack in Japan. It’s said that it came in the 17th century from Portuguese visitors at the time. It’s a hard candy that is basically solid sugar in assorted colours. This amount of sugar will always be popular and in dire straights in those times would give life saving energy. Today these sweets are sold in convenience stores mainly in bags, but you may find some places still selling them in the traditional way.
Last but by no means least is Tirol Choco. These are bite sized chocolates that come in a vast variety so children who couldn’t make up their minds could try a few different chocolates at once. This is a wonderful thing and often they would make special flavours for limited periods of time. I know quite a few adults who still hunt these many flavours down. They also have been known to make special packages or wrappers with cultural icons on them such as sumo wrestlers or musicians. These truly are a remarkable thing and one that is probably the most popular in the western world.
So, there you have it, Dagashi treats for you to try when you next visit Japan. If you aren’t visiting Japan in the near future don’t forget you can always search online, there are many places online now that offer world-wide shipping for Japanese sweets and confectionary with all of these lovely things on there. Whether you have a sweet tooth or love a good savoury snack there are amazing things for you to try and don’t forget, we’ve only scratched the surface here, go out there and try more yourself.
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