Jelly-centric desserts are always wildly popular in Japan. Confections like kohakutou, a classic Japanese candy that contains a crystal outside and a jelly filled inside, play a pivotal part in everyday life for the Japanese. From matcha tea ceremonies to souvenirs and gifts, jelly candies, like kohakutou and kingyoku, are keeping the industry very much alive in Japan.
Jelly Candies and Kingyoku
Japanese jelly candies are a kind of wagashi, or traditional Japanese snacks. Jelly confections like kingyoku and kohakutou are considered to be wagashi due to their long historical ties to Japanese culture. Kingyoku is a wagashi that is made by boiling kanten and sugar together before allowing it to cool and harden. Kingyoku is most commonly made to look like a goldfish or non-descript fish swimming in the water. Its chilled temperature makes kingyoku one of the most refreshing summer desserts in Japan, and its playful appearance is sure to make anyone feel young at heart while they indulge!
The Kohakutou Craze
Kohakutou, or “amber candy,” is a Japanese jelly candy made from agar-agar, a jelly-like substance derived from red algae. Despite its gelatinous appearance, agar-agar is actually vegetarian and vegan friendly, making it a great alternative to animal-based gelatin. These special crystal candies are made by pouring flavored jelly into a dish, letting it set, then cutting each piece into your desired shape and letting them solidify for at least a few hours. This allows for the outside to develop a crunchy exterior while the inside remains soft and chewy. The longer they sit, the thicker the exterior will become.
There are many more kinds of Japanese jelly snacks that aren’t kingyoku or kohakutou, however. Here at Bokksu, we sell a variety of jiggly jelly candies at our very own Market to ensure that everyone’s jelly preferences will be met! Keep reading on for a breakdown of all our best jelly snacks.
There’s nothing better than white peach, except maybe Shimizu white peach! The White Peach Jelly is made from domestic Okubo peaches, which have a reputation for their moderate sweetness and freshness. Made by cutting the Okubo seed white peach into quarter slices and transforming the freshness of the fruit into a gelatinous delicacy, this jelly is guaranteed to tickle your tongue and please your belly! Plus, every puree is homemade with extreme care to retain the texture of the white peach.
The Shimizu White Peach Jelly, on the other hand, uses the rare Shimizu Hakuto peach from Okayama prefecture. The Shimizu Hakuto peach is highly sought after in Japan, thanks to its sweetness, aroma, texture, and size. Each jelly is made up of one half of a Shimizu Hakuto peach, and all purees contain Shimizu Hakuto as well. Just like the White Peach Jelly, the purees are all made in-house so that the Takayamado craftsmen behind the jelly can preserve the texture of the white peaches as much as possible. Each flavor comes with three jelly purees, so don’t miss out on this unbeatable opportunity to finally try Shimizu Hakuto for yourself.
This gift set contains four fruity flavors of jelly -- Shonan Gold Jelly, Japanese Peach Jelly, Japanese Blueberry Jelly, and Odawara Mikan Jelly -- that all capture the freshness of recently picked ripe fruits. All fruits are domestically grown in Japan, so expand your knowledge of fruits with this perfect assortment of Japanese jellies.
Speaking of expanding your knowledge, if four flavors isn’t enough for you, six flavors is sure to do the trick! The flavors highlighted in this pack are: Shonan Gold Jelly (made from a citrusy hybrid of the golden orange and Imamura Wenshu from Kanagawa), Japanese Peach Jelly, Japanese Apple Jelly, Japanese Blueberry Jelly, Fujino Yuzu Jelly, and Odawara Mikan Jelly (made from another Kanagawa specialty fruit).
So the next time you find yourself looking for a refreshingly satisfying dessert, don’t forget to try kingyoku, kohakutou, or our Bokksu Japanese jelly fruit candies!