Konpeito | Junk Food Blog

16 February, 2006

Konpeito

KonpeitoKonpeito is a japanese-style candy, almost entirely made of sugar.

Growing up with a Japanese mom, I ate a lot of this stuff as a kid. But in Japanese cultures, this stuff is folk art. If you can imagine the Jelly Belly now achieving cult status, and being subjected to every known flavor and concoction imaginable, that's the konpeito in Japan.

In traditional sense of konpeito, it's all about telling a story of love, or tragedy, or celebrating the essence of something, like a flower, a dew drop, or a sunset, but all the while retaining the simplicity of sugar candy. The more extravagant and complex you can build the story, color and flavor, the more exciting the product. Traditional konpeito is not eaten without the presenter telling its story.

There is also commercial konpeito, sold in bulk, with common colors of red, orange, green, purple, but often tasting only like sugar.

Anyways, Japanese food maker, Hidemi, Inc. has paid homage to this unique Japanese folk art with a line of traditional konpeito with several varieties. Pictured here is Konpeito Sakura.

The Sakura is the cherry blossom, the favorite flower of Japan. To the Japanese, it exemplifies everything good with Japan, its beauty, purity, and nobility. The cherry blossom has poetic and romantic meaning, much like the rose in western cultures. This particular variety of konpeito captures the color of Sakura, and even some greenish hues to resemble the leaves and stems. It perhaps has a taste that reminds you of the cherry blossom scent.

2 comments:

Candy Guy on 2/16/2006 06:13:00 PM said...

I reviewed Konpeito a little while back.

The Konpeito I tried was unflavored and was essentially rock candy.

brian

Eva on 5/16/2007 10:36:00 PM said...

I've always loved the pure sugar konpeito, but I had no idea it had such a rich history or strong tie to story telling. ^_^

Thanks for enlightening me!

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