We all understand that there are cultures around the world that are very different from our own. Sometimes different cultural habits can be just around the corner with the world as diverse as it is. However, we don’t always know just how different a culture and what they find normal can be. It’s not just language, dance, and traditions.
Many times it has to do with food and the different kind that may only be available in certain countries. People become accustomed to the things they live among, and candy happens to be one of those things. While folks in the US may find some Asian candy extremely bizarre, don’t forget that it goes both ways. Here are 10 Asian candies that US folks may be put off by or find totally delightful!
10 Gokujyo Brown Sugar Karinto
As you can see from the photograph, these don’t look like the most appetizing candies you could find. However, once you can get past the appearance, one will find a nicely crisp wafer that is lightly fried and then covered in brown sugar that has been caramelized.
It really seems that whoever invented these didn’t take their appearance into consideration before bagging them up and shipping them off into the stores. We figure some goofy kids thought they might pull a prank and hid them in someone’s ice cream, then were stunned when the prankee found them to be delicious and gobbled them all up.
9 Haitai Plum Candy
Remember that Christmas story that had something in it about visions of sugar plums dancing in the heads of sleeping children? Well, we’re not sure what sugar plums are, but this candy might make an adequate substitute.
These hard candies come individually wrapped to help avoid them sticking together and are made with real plum juice and even some green tea extract for a bit of a healthy touch with your candy. Haitai also makes a number of other flavors as well, such as Muscat grape, plus many other delicious snacks like Honey Butter potato chips, Korean Spicy rice cakes, crackers, and cookies.
8 Heart Moko Moko Toilet Candy
Well, someone had to do it, so it might as well have been the Japanese. There are several different color toilets for kids to collect and each comes with a powered candy. The toilet comes in pieces, so the kids have to put it together, so parents may need to help with this part. After it is all together, one pours the powdered candy from a pre-measured packet into the tank of the toilet.
Then a small amount of water is poured in. Then we all sit back and watch as it foams up and fills the toilet bowl. After stirring a little bit, it is ready to be sucked up through the enclosed straw.
7 Ramune Soda Candy
Reminiscent of the waxy liquid filled candy we used to get at the dime store, these are filled with little candy gummy balls that taste like soda. The bottle takes inspiration from Ramune, the oldest maker of soda pop in Japan that started out way back in 1876 with a lemon-lime flavor.
They make all types of flavors now including grape, pineapple, strawberry, and many others, and it the most popular soft drink in Japan. The little gummies taste like soda and are somewhat fizzy. They come in a variety of flavors including lemon-lime, blueberry, grape, kiwi, strawberry, melon, Blue Hawaiian and many others.
6 Rabbit in the Moon Higashi
Now, these are almost too pretty to want to eat. We just want to sit and look at the craftsmanship of these lovely pieces of candy. Made by confectioners Higashi they appear to be made of molded chocolate. However, they are a delightful mixture of soybean flour and finely ground sugar.
It appears to portray a bit of the story of the rabbit in the moon, an Asian childhood fairy tale. Rather than a man in the moon, in centuries past, Asians saw a rabbit and pestle. Rabbit lived on the moon with the moon goddess and toad and saved many Chinese with a magic potion when they were struck by plague.
5 Poppin’ Cookin’ Candy Kit Gummies
Candy kits seem to be all the rage right now in Asia, especially Japan. But many people prefer my candy pre-made and ready to eat. However, it’s true that kids like to do it themselves when it comes to a lot of things (except chores).
The kids usually contain flavored gelatin in powered form and some sort of curing that goes into a mold to be shaped into cute animals or superheroes – kid’s choice. The initial mixing results in something that looks like a giant snot flat worm. But, hey, the kids think it’s great!
4 Bourbon Fettuccine Gummi Candy
No, this fettuccine candy doesn’t have bourbon in it. Bourbon is the name of the company that makes this unusual fettuccine shaped candy. It is shaped like short pieces of fettuccine that are gloriously flavored and then covered with a sprinkling of sour powder and sugar to tease and delight your taste buds. So you get real sour taste followed by nice, sweet and fruity.
They come in Italian grape, lemon, cola, and peach flavors, among others to soothe your gummy candy craving. The fruity flavor is said to be especially intense and satisfying. This fettuccine is nothing like Grandma used to serve on Sunday night.
3 Flavored Kit Kats
While many in the US love their Kit Kats that are made simply made with crispy wafers and milk chocolate, they might be floored to learn that in Japan they come in many different flavors and in white chocolate. While the Japanese like chocolate as much as anybody else, they apparently like variety more than we boring Americans do.
There is even a Saki flavored Kit Kat, along with wasabi, PB & J, strawberry, melon, matcha, green tea, and up to 300 other flavors have been introduced. The flavored candy is now making its way into South Korea. Nestle (the maker of Kit Kat) has even opened several stores in Japan that sell only Kit Kat.
2 Chiroru Choco Mochi
These little, individually wrapped tasty tidbits are similar to chocolate bars, but they come in so many more flavors than just chocolate. Along with a creamy, melty, outside, they have a gummy candy on the inside, that as you chew, it helps distribute the decadent yumminess throughout your mouth.
The company Chiroru Choco Mochi began in 1962 but they became very popular once they started to make the bite-size chocolates. They come in flavors like chocolate (of course), strawberry, matcha, and green tea. The melt in your mouth mochi is actually a type of rice that is pounded into a moldable paste.
1 Morinaga Hi-Chew Durian Candy
While you can find Hi-Chew in the US, you won’t find this particular flavor. Morinaga is a Japanese company that makes Hi-Chew and here you can get flavors like apple, cherry, strawberry, lemon, and many other fruit flavors.
One you won’t find, however, is Durian. As you’ve probably heard by now if you watch any TV at all, Durian is a large, prickly fruit, maybe the size of a basketball, that when opened emits the scent of a decomposing body. Not very appetizing. However, the flesh of the fruit is said to resemble that of cotton candy. So, if you can get past the smell, you might be able to have a friend traveling to Asia, bring back some.