Jun 10, 2018
I thought the design was familiar, but don't think I've ever bought this candy before. This small box of Hyourokumochi candy surprised me because it has a nostalgic taste. When I ate it, I realized the candy inside is wrapped with oblat, a starch wrapper that melts in your mouth. I think it's so smart because it produces less waste, but also it reminds me of a candy also wrapped in oblat that I used to buy sometimes in high school: Botan Rice Candy.
In the states, this was one of the only Japanese things I could find in our supermarket. I loved the colorful packaging and that it came with a sticker of something utterly ridiculous, like a tiger driving a race car.
After moving to Japan, I thought it was so weird that there was no Botan Rice Candy. (I was distracted more than enough by all the other candies Japan does have, so no worries.)
I did a little research to see what the connection was between Botan and Hyourokumochi.
Botan means peony.
Bontan means pomelo.
In Japan we can find Bontan candy, which is supposedly the same as the citrus flavored Botan in America.
I haven't tried it yet, but now that I know, I might get it next. The difference is mainly in the ingredients and flavor, as the Hyourokumochi candy is flavored with kinako and green tea. The package design and size is also different, and the Japanese version might not include a sticker.
At under 100 yen per pack of 14 candies, I think I need to buy some Bontan candy to bring back as souvenirs for those friends who I know have tried Botan there.