【2018 Edition】10 Unusual Convenience Store Sweets That Make Great Souvenirs
There are many oddly shaped snacks in Japan. This article introduces 10 unique snacks that will surprise and delight the recipient of your generosity. They are all available at convenience stores for 100 JPY - 200 JPY each.
1. NINJA MESHI
These are small hard gummies that are convenient to eat when feeling peckish. When ninja were on the job, they would carry small and light food that could fill them up easily and energize them. This was the inspiration for these gummies! These chewy gummies are satisfying and make for perfect snacks when dieting or when you’re simply hungry. Photographed is the cola flavor. You’ll also find lemon, Kyoho grape, and peach versions. The package depicts a ninja in a business suit. These are sweets to give to present-day ninja battling their busy lives.
2. LONG SAKERU GUMMY
This is a gummy that is 40cm long! It is a SAKERU GUMMY, which is a new type of gummy that you tear to eat. It feels wonderful to tear off strips of this robustly flavored gummy, and what makes it better is that the torn off pieces still have the chewy texture of gummies! You can enjoy this as you like - tear off big chunks or carefully tear long, thin slices. Gummies are already fun, but this new kind of gummy doubles that!
This is a snack that looks and feels like chicken nuggets. Anyone who eats it unknowingly is likely to think that these are chicken nuggets. They are flavored with a Japanese-style soy sauce, but because they are made with soy meat, they have 80% less fat than chicken nuggets. At just 45kcal a bag, they are perfect for diets. Anyone receiving them as a souvenir will definitely believe that they are chicken nuggets, so you can enjoy seeing their faces when you tell them the truth!
*Can be purchased at 7-11 stores all across Japan.
4. Sozai no Mamma—Croquette no Mamma
Croquettes, which can be enjoyed as both snacks and with meals, is a dish that is popular among people of all generations in Japan. These are croquettes that have been made into a snack, but are so good that you could eat them for a meal! The texture is as if you were eating freshly fried croquettes, and the sweetness of the potatoes and umami of the meat is just like real croquettes. It would be difficult to take real croquettes home as souvenirs, so these are a great way of taking Japanese flavors back home.
*Can be purchased at 7-11 stores all across Japan.
5. Choco Anpan
This snack consists of chocolate cream in bite-sized bread rolls. These adorable miniatures of the real thing are sure to charm children and friends. They have been a long-term hit since their release more than 30 years ago. They come in small packages and are perfect little snacks in-between meals. There is also the Choco Melonpan version, which has bite-sized melonpan (a type of Japanese sweet bun) filled with white chocolate.
6. Every Burger
These are coin-sized snacks that look just like hamburgers. The sesame seeds on the bun make them look even cuter and more like the real thing. Unlike the Choco Anpan, the bun on these snacks are flaky cookies instead of bread. There is milk chocolate sandwiched between the cookies, creating a wonderful harmony between the texture of the cookies and the sweet chocolate. Eat one and you'll be finishing the whole box before you know it! This snack is sure to be a hit for both its look and taste.
7. Kinoko no Yama
These are mushroom shaped snacks with chocolate and crunchy crackers. They are another long-term hit that was released more than 40 years ago. Japan is full of cutely-shaped snacks now, but Kinoko no Yama was the pioneer of the genre. They are tasty just by themselves, but in Japan, many people also use them as decorations for Christmas cakes and other desserts.
8. Moeyo Togarashi
This is a super-hot snack of deep-fried, bite-sized chili peppers that have been cut into round slices. Its aroma hits the nose the moment you open the bag, so keep children or anyone who dislikes spicy food away from it. Put it in your mouth and enjoy the flaky texture, as well as the umami and spiciness of the peppers. They are so spicy that they almost hurt! This is a stimulating snack that spice lovers must try. It can be eaten on its own, used as a replacement for tabasco over pizza and pasta, or added to cup noodles for a tinge of flavor.
9. Cabbage Taro
Cabbage Taro is a dagashi (cheap snacks that small children can buy) that has been popular since its release in 1981. They are bite-sized chips with a rich saucy flavor that keeps one coming back for more. It is such a popular snack in Japan that almost everyone has tried it, with some adults enjoying it with drinks. Although cabbage is in the product’s name, there is no cabbage in it and it is not cabbage-flavored. The naming comes from its round appearance, which looks like a Brussels sprout (called “sprout cabbage” in Japan).
10. Kabayaki-san Taro
Kabayaki-san Taro is a dagashi that is just as popular as Cabbage Taro. It is made by flavoring thin layers of fish paste in the same way that you’d flavor eel kabayaki (dipped and broiled in a soy sauce-based sauce). The sweet and savory sauce - made with ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, and mirin - and the fish flavor create a taste that even adults can get hooked on. They are shaped like thin sheets and have a texture that is in-between crunchy and moist. The sauce is on the surface, so try not to get your hands sticky when eating them.
Convenience stores, which are open around the clock, are literally convenient places to buy anything, from food to daily necessities. There are more than 55,000 stores around Japan, so definitely stop by at least once while in Japan. When you do, be sure to take a look at these snacks that can be great gifts to take home!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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