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.