Weird Japanese Candy

When we think of candy, we tend to think of gooey things like chocolate and caramel, or sugary things like cotton candy and lollipops. However, these kinds of candies aren't found everywhere. Japan is known for its incredibly unique style, and the creativity doesn’t stop at fashion. Here are seven candies found in Japan that perfectly reflect the ingenuity of Japanese culture.

Rose Sweat Gum

Almost everyone chews gum, most of which is mint flavored to help keep our mouths fresh throughout the day. Not only does this chewing gum freshen your breath, it freshens your body. The rose and menthol flavors are absorbed by the body as it is chewed and then released through the sweat glands for up to two hours.

In a country with a large population and limited space, this gum is an innovation that could be incredibly successful.

Strangely Flavored Potato Chips

Chips are a common snack in most households, especially for those who are constantly on the go or who have children. In Japan, snacking is done a little differently. A company called Calbee has done away with basic barbecue, salt and vinegar, and all-dressed chips, and developed a new flavor – scallops and mayonnaise.

Japanese inventions are all about standing out from the crowd, and they’ve definitely found a way to be noticed as part of a multi-million-dollar industry.

Meat Flavored Ice Cream

Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a cold ice cream cone. In Japan, ice cream isn’t limited to chocolate, rocky road, and Chunky Monkey. The options in Japan are bolder and include choices such as chicken wings, beef tongue, and horse.

Beef tongues are eaten fairly often in Japan and western fast food chains such as KFC are continually opening new locations around the world, so it was probably just a matter of time until these combinations were created.

Wasabi Kit Kats

Continuing the trend of making unlikely food pairings, Kit Kat offers several varieties of its famous chocolate bar in Japan that are not available anywhere else. Some flavors, such as strawberry cheesecake and cinnamon cookie, would probably be popular in North America.

Then there are flavors like wasabi, matcha green tea, and hot chili that are for those with more adventurous taste buds. Some of these options reflect the flavors found in traditional Japanese foods while others represent more modern cooking trends.

Sweet Corn and Soy Sauce Drops

t's difficult to go into a candy store and not find hard candies, whether they're fruit flavored, butterscotch, or minty.

While hard candies are popular everywhere, these drops raise the bar. Instead of providing the sweet, sugary taste we expect with hard candies, these drops are savory. They taste exactly like what the name indicates – like corn and soy sauce.

As corn on the cob with soy sauce on top - served on a stick - becomes more popular, these candies will likely become more commonplace as well.

Squid Candy

Although there isn’t any actual squid in these candies, the manufacturer has done an excellent job of imitating it. These squishy treats are small bars made from fish paste. To top it off, artificial squid flavoring is drizzled on top.

As a country surrounded by water, seafood is a staple in Japan and makes up a large portion of the local diet. Squid is featured prominently in Japanese cuisine, both raw in sushi and grilled at food stalls. This candy is a way to keep the flavor going in between meals.

Seaweed Chews

While sushi is common in Japan, it has spread around the world to the point where almost everyone knows what to expect. When it comes to sushi, we expect to find seaweed. When it comes to chewy candy, we don’t.

These Konbuame candies are made completely from seaweed. From the color and texture to the taste, the manufacturer has found a way to make this ocean plant a treat.

Japanese candy makers have made their mark by mixing traditional flavors with modern candies. Whether or not these treats become popular around the world has yet to be seen. But, if you end up in Japan, be sure to try some of them before heading home, just so you can say you did.

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