While at Cost Plus World Market the other day, I picked up a box of Botan Rice Candy.
Everytime I see a box of this stuff, I have to buy it. It's an old favorite of mine that goes back to when I was a wee little lad. It only costs a buck.
It's made from rice, and in some respects, it's kinda like omochi, but sweetened with sugar. At its best, Botan Rice Candy is soft, like fudge brownies fresh out of the oven.
I don't know when Botan Rice Candy first came out, but I can remember back to 1970, living in Japan, and eating this stuff. When we moved to San Diego a year later, my mother would buy me this at the asian food markets. They only cost a nickle back then. To this day, the box and the design is largely unchanged.
Once you take off the plastic wrapper, you'll find another wrapper, opaque in color. It's a rice wrapper that you can eat. I remember giving these to my friends and watching them trying to remove it in frustration.
Once in awhile you'd get a box where the candies were hard, like cold tootsie-rolls. You'd have to suck and chew on them for awhile until they softened up.
Inside every box there is a sticker, or temporary tattoo. In the old days, there'd actually be a toy inside, usually a small plastic car or bus. We're talking early 1970's. I don't know when they made the change to stickers, but I suppose they're cheaper.
It's always the nostalgic things like this you keep coming back to. I'll be eating this stuff for the rest of my life.
Check out Brian's review of Botan Rice Candy.