As one of the largest cities in Japan, and also one of the most popular tourist destinations with foreigners, Osaka has a huge edible souvenir culture. Known as omiyage in Japan, these souvenirs are usually sweets or snacks that you can only purchase in a certain city or area. They are famous for incorporating local flavors as well – and when it comes to Osaka, it’s all about savory food like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and curry. Don’t let that let you down if you have a sweet tooth – there’s plenty of sweet omiyage you can get from Osaka as well. Without further ado, let’s get into the top six most mouth-watering Osaka food gifts:
1. Takoyaki flavored Jagarico
Jagarico is a Japanese take on potato chips – but instead of being wedge-shaped, they come in a stick form, which makes it easier and less messy to munch of them. You can find a couple of Jagarico flavors in any Japanese convenience store, but the Takoyaki flavor is an Osaka exclusive. Takoyaki, or fried octopus balls, are one of the most representative dishes of Osakan cuisine. You can find them at pretty much any big station and airport in the Kansai area, as well as in convenience stores. Takoyaki flavored Jagarico are the perfect food souvenir to bring back home, as they stay fresh for a long period of time.
2. Okonomiyaki Senbe
Senbe is traditional Japanese rice crackers. They’re usually flavored with various spices, but Osaka takes it a step further by adding vegetables, fish flakes, and okonomiyaki sauce, creating a perfect hybrid between a senbe and an okonomiyaki pancake. If you’ve never heard of okonomiyaki, it’s a type of Japanese pancake featuring lots of cabbage, meat, seafood, and other ingredients, which is then grilled and served with a distinctive sauce. Okonomiyaki is another staple of Osaka cuisine, so it might be a good idea to get this instant version of it for your friends back home.
3. 511 Horai Nikuman
Nikuman are pork-filled steamed buns. They are a winter staple in any Japanese convenience store, but the 511 Horai Store in Osaka is said to make the best nikuman in all of Japan. Now, steamed buns filled with meat might not sound like the most convenient souvenir to take on a 15-hour flight, but the store claims that they stay fresh up to 5 days. So, if you feel like you could throw a comfort food party as soon as you’re back from Osaka, might be worth snatching some of these legendary nikuman. Or you could just buy a few and enjoy them in your hotel room after you’re back from a day of exploring around, because it would be a pity to miss out on such a delicious snack.
4. Kuidaore Pudding
Here’s something for those with a sweet tooth – delicious and fluffy custard cream topped with caramelized sugar and packaged in an adorable box. This is a great elegant food souvenir to bring home from Osaka – just in case a bag of chips or some rice crackers won’t make the right impression. The pudding itself has a fairly sweet flavor, but it is by no means overwhelming. You can either top it off with the provided caramel sugar to transform it into crème brulee, or eat it as it is.
5. Omoshiroi Koibito
Now, this is more of a witty food souvenir that doesn’t make much sense if you’re not too familiar with Japanese culture. The joke is that Hokkaido has a very famous omiyage named Shiroi Koibito (literally ‘white lover’) – a langue-de-chat biscuit filled with white chocolate cream. Osakan people are known for their humor, so they came out with a twist on the Hokkaido omiyage, naming it Omoshiroi Koibito (literally ‘funny lover’). Both the package and presentation are very similar to those of the original Hokkaido souvenir, but the cream inside the Osakan biscuits has more of a mitarashi flavor.
6. Baton d’Or
Do you have friends that like Pocky? Then this is the perfect souvenir to bring home for them. Baton d’Or is marketed as a deluxe version of Pocky – you know, that chocolate covered stick biscuits. They come in a much more elegant packaging and are said to use better quality ingredients as well. Much like Pocky, baton d’Or comes in several different flavors, including strawberry and matcha, so you can pick up a few different one for your friends to try. Did we mention that it’s an Osaka-exclusive product?
Osaka is a gourmand’s paradise – there are so many unique flavors to try out and enjoy when visiting the city. However, you can also take them home with you in the shape of food souvenirs, or let your friends and family back home enjoy Osakan food from afar. Whichever of these food souvenirs you end up getting, we hope you enjoy them!
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