Let’s start off with a quick question –
How many Okinawan confections do you know?
Today we’re going to take a look at some traditional treats that are only available in Okinawa.
They’re great when you’re feeling a little peckish, or with tea,
but we also recommend them as souvenirs!
Unique Okinawan Treats
These traditional Okinawan snacks show up at almost every special event in Okinawa.
Readily available at rest stops and tourist attractions, many of you have probably tried them at least once.
They come in many different flavors, including plain, brown sugar, purple sweet potato, and sesame. Many shops also have their own unique flavors.
They go great with milk, so be sure to give them a try!
Often left as an offering at family graves, this lemon cake is popular with people of all ages.
Lemon flavored chocolate coats the slightly sweet, lemon flavored sponge cake that’s inside.
The silver packaging is iconic.
This traditional treat can be traced back to the Ryukyu Kingdom period. On the outside, a flour and sugar-based dough has been baked to a soft, cookie-like texture.
On the inside you’ll find a fragrant sesame paste.
These steamed buns are easily recognized by the pink hiragana character “no” that’s written on them.
The “no” character that appears on the buns apparently comes from noshigami, which are origami that are often attached to gifts to bring good luck. The buns appear often at ceremonies and celebratory occasions. They are stuffed with sweet bean paste.
The rich sweetness of the sweet bean paste goes great with the refreshing scent of the shell ginger and makes these buns burst with flavor!
The dough for this unique treat is made using Japanese yam.
Filled with sweet bean paste, these treats are small, but quite hefty with a dense texture. They are moist and sticky, and the mouthfeel and flavor they have is one of a kind.
When talking about treats that are associated with good luck, you can’t forget Machikaji. And you can’t miss their bright pink color!
These rice crackers are often used during celebratory occasions such as the traditional Japanese engagement ceremony.
Because they symbolize bringing people together, they are shaped like a knot. The sesame seed coating is to represent the prosperity of one’s descendants.
Since this is such a lucky treat, be sure to pick some up if you see them!
Also called chinpin, these confections are kind of like brown sugar flavored crepes.
There isn’t any filling inside, but they are a delicious, simple treat.
Muchi is mochi (pounded rice cakes) that are wrapped in a shell ginger leaf.
Often made at home, the mochi inside can be flavored with brown sugar or purple sweet potatoes, among other things.
A miso-flavored mochi. The sweet flavor has a rich, miso aroma, which is unique to this particular treat.
So, how many of these Okinawan treats
have you tried before?
If there are some that you haven’t tried yet, be sure to check them out when you have a chance!
The treats featured here today can be purchased at:
|Address||Ichiba Hondori, 3-1-1 Makishi, Naha, Okinawa 900-0013|
|Hours||9:00 AM to 6:00 PM|
|Closed||Mondays, January 1 – 3|
|Address||2-9-9 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014|
|Hours||9:00 AM to 8:00 PM|
|Closed||Open 365 days a year|
Hokama Confectionary and Matsuyama Confectionary, both located on Ichiba Hondori, one of Koksai-dori’s shopping arcades, offer many different types of traditional Okinawan confections.
Both are reasonably priced and have a wide variety
so it’s fun to see what you can find!
Some of the traditional treats mentioned are exclusive to certain areas of Okinawa or are only eaten at certain events,
so they might be harder to find.
So definitely be sure to stop by both shops when you are in Naha to see what you can find!
Some Other Places to Check Out on Kokusai-dori
We hope this is helpful information for your next visit!