Dreaming about eating delicious Japanese sweets and snacks? Here are five fun facts we bet you didn't know about your favourite Japanese snacks!
1. Kit Kat
There are over 300 regional and limited edition flavours have been produced alongside the usual flavours! Interesting flavours include Lemon Vinegar, Plum Soda, Yuzu & Pepper, Miso Soup, Brown Sugar, Apple Pie, and Wasabi.
2. Wagashi Day
There's an official 'Wagashi Day' celebrated in Japan, which celebrates the wide array of 'wagashi' - traditional Japanese sweets. Mochi for example is one type of wagashi, so is Konpeito, as well as doriyaki, manju and other Japanese treats you may have heard of.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, traditional Japanese sweets are celebrated on June 16th as a means to honour an ancient tradition. Emperor Ninmyo offered 16 confections or rice cakes to the Gods to ward off evil in the Heian period.
The origin of the company name, ‘Glico’, isn’t Japanese. The name comes from the English word "glycogen. In 1921, founder Ri-ichi Ezaki developed a kind of energy supplement called Glico-Caramel, complete with a triumphant running man as its logo.
The name ‘Pocky’ comes from the Japanese word, "pokkin," an onomatopoeia for the sound of a stick snapping.
4. Hi Chew
In Japan, taking food out of your mouth is considered as rude. That’s why Taichiro Morinaga invented Chewlets, a dissolvable, strawberry-flavoured candy you could chew like gum but didn’t have to spit out. Eventually, Chewlets would be come Hi-Chew.
Not all matcha is created equal. Ceremonial grade powdered tea is equivalent to that which is used in traditional Japanese ceremonies, while culinary grade matcha is used to flavour noodles, lattes, ice cream, and more!