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The Rice Candy products come from Kanazawa.  They are called “Rice Candy”, because they are made from organic rice and intended to be like traditional Japanese candy, which is soft and gooey and eaten on a stick.  Image

Photograph of Japanese Amezaiku / Performer Masaji Terasawa at a Japanese festival in St. Louis Missouri. (public domain)
Author, Mike Smick

Amezaiku is the Japanese craft of making sculptures with the traditional taffy-like candy. You can sometimes see amezaiku artists perform at Japanese festivals. 


Kanazawa Ame-chan Jam

The Rice Candy Jam contains no added sugar, but is sweet only from the rice and wheat used to make the jam.  It is made not unlike the traditional candy, but has some fruits or vegetables added for flavor.  In the photo is a slice of bread with pumpkin jam on it.  It may look like organic honey and it is very similar to honey in consistency and sweetness.  The jam does taste like pumpkin, though.  So did the sweet potato jam that we finished last week!

The flavorful jams are available online through the Kanazawa Daichi store:


Suppaiman Sour Plum Candy

Suppaiman (スッパイマン) is the brand name of a popular series of products made by a company based in Okinawa, Amaume.

The Suppaiman products mostly feature prominently a Japanese sour plum, which is known as
The word “umeboshi” consists of two characters, ume– meaning “plum” – and hoshi – meaning “dried” or “to dry”.  Umeboshi is a very popular item throughout Japan, used as a condiment in meals – particularly breakfast – and in many confectionaries.  There are a great many types of umeboshi, ranging from the very sour to salty and often also being sweetened to some extent.


Sour plum dish

In addition, not all umeboshi are eaten dried.  They are frequently kept in a wet state, especially as an ingredient used in the typical Japanese boxed lunch, containing rice balls.  Umeboshi are extremely popular as they are a preserved food, much like pickles in the west, that can be eaten through a long, hot, and humid summer.  They are said to assist digestion, increase stamina, and protect against aging.

The Suppaiman plum candy is very cool.  It has a dried plum suspended inside of a hard and thick candy shell.  The candy itself is a bekkoame, a hard candy that is common in Japan.  The umeboshi is exposed on one side, so the candy is always a bit sour in the mouth.  The bekkoame is very hard, so it lasts a very long time in the mouth if you do not bite down and crush it.

close up view of suppaiman

close up of suppaiman

I mostly eat Suppaiman when I am riding my bike.  The sweet/sour flavor keeps my mouth feel clean, even when in traffic.  I even think it helps my pollen allergies.

But as the Amaume website shows, there are a great many Suppaiman products.  The dried plums themselves were probably first, but the candy and furikake, a type of flavored flake topping for rice, are also popular.  But the most interesting, I think, is the mimigaa jerky.  Mimigaa is an Okinawan specialty, made from dried pigs ears.  Usually boiled and pickled in Okinawa, pigs ears are found in cuisine throughout the world, including much of Asia, the South in the United States, Spain, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.  I’m not very fond of its gelatinous texture, which makes mimigaa a little crunchy.

Suppai in Japanese, means “sour”. Man usually means “man” or “person”, but at the end of a word, it frequently means very little.  It is mostly a word “play” that makes an adverb – like sour – sound more like a noun, or a thing.  But the series of commercials for Suppaiman in Japan, mostly aired in the Kansai region, which is noted for its appreciation of humor, gives even greater meaning to its name.

No doubt, I am a huge fan of Suppaiman!

Suppaiman Products

Lots of Suppaiman Products!!!

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