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Have Your Candy and Eat the Wrapper Too

Tomoe Ame Rice Candy has been a classic in Hawaii for generations. It’s often brought up whenever discussing “Hanabaddah days”, a Pidgin English slang locals use when referring to childhood memories.

Rice candy shown with plastic wrapper and unwrapped, yet STILL wrapped with clear edible rice paper (foreground). That sticker is the “amusing toy” of the day. Click image for larger view, which depicts the reverse side of the box with different artwork on it.

The single most important feature that sets this Japanese candy apart from all other candies is its edible clear Rice Paper wrapper. As an adult, this probably doesn’t mean much, but when you’re a kid, this is really neat!

What’s almost deceptive is the non-edible clear plastic outter wrapper with the red label. If this was your first time eating this, you’d probably think the rice paper was also plastic and remove it as well. Don’t do that! That’s half the fun! As a kid, you have this “look, I’m eating the wrapper!” feeling of achievement, for whatever that’s worth. lol The rice paper actually serves the purpose of preventing the gooey sweet rice candy from sticking to the plastic wrapper.

As soon as you pop one in your mouth, the rice paper immediately dissolves, revealing a chewy, very sweet orange and lemon-flavored morsel. The list of ingredients include corn syrup, sugar, sweet rice. lemon and orange flavoring and coloring. Perhaps the corn syrup is what gives it that sticky gooeyness. They really are tasty.

Another novelty about Tomoe Ame is the “Amusing Toy” each box includes. IIRC, the toys in the past were more substantial molded plastic items. Today they’re either a sticker or water-based tatoo transfer. My “amusing toy” of the day was a sticker of a singing frog & what is that… a cat? Amusing indeed. lol

The box shown here was $1.20 at Shirokiya. Tomoe Ame Rice Candy is produced by Tomoe Confectionery Co., Ltd. in Nagoya, Japan and imported by Taiyo, Inc. in Honolulu.

While we’re on Japanese candy classics, another popular, more modern item is these Pocky “Choco Sticks”….

These took a while to catch on in the US, but now theyr’e very popular and widely distributed in various forms of packaging and brand names.

The biscuit stick has an hearty baked bread golden flavor and crispy texture. The chocolate coating is very good in quality. When you bite into it, there’s a distinguishable flavor and texture contrast between the two, similar to eating an ice cream cone. You gotta’ love that.

What’s simple-yet-brilliant is the uncoated ends, so snacking on these is a neat M&M’s slogan (you know what that is!) experience.

This box was on sale for $1.69 (reg. $2.50) at Shirokiya. It includes two sealed foil pouches, each filled generously with Pocky Sticks. It’s manufactured by Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. in Osaka, Japan.


7 thoughts on “Have Your Candy and Eat the Wrapper Too

  • October 29, 2006 at 5:53 am

    memories …shucks the toys were the best part…now its only the stickers. i guess they were ‘dangerous’.

    gee, you’ve been busy with so many cool entries.

  • October 29, 2006 at 8:32 am

    POCKY!!!!!! I LOVVVEEEEE POCKY. Here in LA, you can get many great varieties of Pocky, the favorite of which is chocolate and coconut covered, and chocolate with almonds.

    Also, the salty “yang” to the Pocky’s “yin” is “PRETZ” sticks. Same shape, only PRETZ sticks are like a cracker. They have amazing flavors like “Roasted Corn” and “Salad”. ONO !

    Pomai, I just figured out what I need to send you…. DRAKES CAKES !
    YOu have to try those.

  • September 21, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Pocky is the best Japanese candy I have had, except for Yan-Yan. We have Pocky here in the state I live in, but they only come in strawberry and chocolate. There is also another candy we have at our store, but I don’t know if it’s Chinese or Japanese,

    It’s called Koala March, flavors are chocolate and white chocolate fillings. Very good!! I suggest it highly, (but that’s just me) Anyway, Your site is amazing, keep at it. And I’ll be back

    -Yaya ;)

    • October 6, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Err, never heard of Panda Cookies. Was that a Hawaii thing? Or was that popular in Cali’ back in the day?

  • September 6, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I first ate these candies when I was 3 yrs. old living in Honolulu in 1960  : ) I am 60 yr.s old now and am still enchanted by the dissolving rice paper . The candy is tasty and now, even though the toys are gone, the stickers are cute and appreciated. Leave it to the Japanese to be so creative. The ingredients in the candy howeverare less than healthy. I’m going to attempt making my own with healthy ingredients. Thank you for this post  : )


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