Jun 2, 2018
Gallery - Japan's Lemon Snacks
They say that owning up to addiction is the first step towards recovery. Well, I'm not looking to recover from this addiction, but I'll own up to it -- I love pretty much all things "lemon." Fortunately then, Japan has plenty of lemon flavor snacks to temporarily satiate my appetite. Although it doesn't stop with snacks -- lemon is the first keyword I look for in cakes, novelty supermarket breads, desserts, and the occasional chicken dish, here in Japan or anywhere in the world.
I've got some lemon snack staples for my life in Japan, and there are typically one or two limited editions / new editions of snacks that appear on the nation's shelves every now and then.
Chip Star Setouchi Lemon from YBC (Yamazaki Biscuit Company)
Let's be honest, Chip Star are really the poor persons Pringles. I typically don't pay them much attention but last week I noticed they had this "Setouchi Lemon" edition on the shelves. Setouchi Lemon from the mild and temperate Seto Inland Sea region of Japan.
"Mild" might be the keyword here, rather than "lemon." These potato chips really don't have much clout, appearing almost like a "weak salt and vinegar" rather than anything zingy. And I've learned -- even if they were to add a bit more kick to the lemon, it's not something that goes well with potato chip, for me at any rate.
Cost: Can't remember but probably around 100 yen?
Country Ma'am Lemon Cheese Cake from Fujiya
I've long had a soft spot for Country Ma'am cookies. They play right into the soft and doughy texture that I'm a fan of in such things. The problem is the price. I don't like to pay over 200 yen for a packet of biscuits / cookies and I find that Country Ma'am often over step this mark. Still, I paid around 160 yen for these Lemon Cheese Cake jobs from my local supermarket (Seiyu) and was happy to given the theme in discussion.
The verdict? Promising, but they are quite rich and if I'm not careful I could end up polishing off packet after packet of these cookies and end up feeling slightly nauseous. They also loose points for falling victim to that infuriating habit of Japanese snack makers, individually wrapped and filed into clumsy plastic trays. And then wrapped again. Screw the environment, eh Fujiya?!
Cost: 158 yen (10 pieces)
Oreo Crispy Lemon Mousse from Nabisco
Oreos are a fair bet for reasonably-priced cookies / biscuits here in Japan. No stupid individual wrapping and densely packed (another guilty verdict for many snacks in Japan is that inside the packaging is far more in the way of air / space than there is something edible).
It's pleasing then to see these Lemon Moose Oreo Crispy on the shelves. The mousse is very light in texture but strong enough in taste. It's a good complement to the "crispy" (although not really that crispy) outer cookie parts.
I'm a big fan of these although they still do that "Oreo" thing of getting stuck in your teeth. Definitely not something to eat in during the early dating stage!
Cost: 198 yen (3 packs of 8 pieces)
Puré Lemon Gummy from Kanro
When I can't find any sugar-coated cola bottles from Haribo (not always a given in Japan's supermarkets) I'm restricted to the Japanese brands for my sour candies. And love sour candy like I was still 10 years old. I was hoping to have grown out of this by now, but I still cast longing glances towards the candy section of Japan's supermarkets. And on occasion I say, "Screw it! It's a Saturday!" Rock n roll, I know, but it is what it is.
Puré Gummy actually have a lot of nice flavors. The "lemon" are my default setting. And they are fantastic. They require a combination of sucking a chewing due to the firm sugar coasting that could shred the mouth if you're not careful. Oh, they contain collagen and vitamin C, as it that was really the point!
Cost: 98 yen
Lemonade C500 from "meito"
I used to only drink this stuff during the winter when I was looking for a hot drink that wasn't either tea or coffee. I've since started having some of this on hand throughout the year.
You can buy it in packets that come as individually portioned "sachets" but the one in the image is basically a big bag of powder. It takes around 4 tea spoons to get a mug's worth of the drink. You can also have it cold but I've never tried it.
The C500 aspect of the name suggests something that is good for the health but, if it's true, it serves as nothing more than a minor bonus for me. I drink it for the lemon! And being a bag of powder, it's easy to tailor drinks to your taste.
Not cheap, but a winter essential for me, and a nice alternative to caffeine at other times of the year (although I tend not to drink it together with my lemon-based snacks -- I know where to draw the line people)!
Cost: Around 400 yen for the 470 g-bag in the image
Any other lemon snack addicts out there? Care to share the struggle?!
I'm more into lemon tea than lemonade and more into yuzu than lemon. Lemon ginger and lemon honey (or lemon honey ginger tea) for sure. Are you into the lemon drinks with alcohol? Today I saw 'kodawari lemon sour' with honey or salt varieties and they are tempting. I also saw a Jagabee lemon salt flavor, but like you said, it doesn't sound great.
The lemon Country Ma'am looks delicious! I will be searching for that next time at the supermarket!