In America, we grow up eating M&Ms;, candy corn, and fake cigarettes made from sugar. In Japan, penny candy is called dagashi (DAH-gash-ee), and runs the taste gamut from creamy little pots of frostinglike material to a salty rectangle of dried squid all adorably packaged! Some Japanese candies are widespread here (Pocky, the marriage of breadstick and chocolate, or Kasugai’s spectacular fruit gummies), but classic dagashi hasn’t been — until Shin Hatakeyama, the manager of the treasure trove called Sunrise Mart, brought a few crates back last week from Tokyo. This weekend (April 4–5), he’ll be having a dagashi festival in the mart. Children under 12 will get a token (a Japanese coin, tied with ribbon) that can be redeemed for five dagashi. (Sorry, adults have to pay.) The tiny crème brûlées are very tasty, as are the Bugle-like fried things. Yes, the staff at Sunrise will translate for you (there’s no English on the packaging), but where’s the fun in that?
Related: Japanese Candy [NYM]