Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Japanese Black Sugar Candy Finds

One of the best things about this blog is finding out about completely new varieties of candies I’d never heard of. One of these is Japanese Black Sugar Candy. Known as kuro sato, black sugar is basically brown sugar/molasses.

True brown sugar is basically sugar made from the whole boiled cane instead of just the cane juice that keeps the molasses. Molasses and black sugar is high in potassium as well as traces of iron, calcium and even a little salt. The taste of black sugar is similar to muscovado and has a salty, smokey taste to it. In the States, most brown sugar that you buy in the grocery store is just white sugar that has a bit of molasses added back into it.

Some Japanese just eat nuggets of black sugar as a treat (similar to maple sugar candies or Mexican panela). In fact, I used to eat brown sugar right out of the box as a kid. I loved the flavor of it. Many doctors and pharmacists have for years used muscovado-type sugars for medicinal use, either as a base for cough remedies or added to make medicinal syrups.

The Japanese use the bold taste of kuro sato to full effect in a lot of candies. Most are hard candies which are either for eating or for use as cough drops (often with the addition of honey or menthol).

Here are a few I found:

Name: Kuro Ame
Brand: Kasugai
Place Purchased: Jbox
Price: $2.00
Size: 200 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Hard Candy

from JBox - “A wonderful traditional Japanese hard candy, this is “Kuro-Ame” (Black Candy), a famous Japanese treat loved by everyone since the 1860’s. With a long history and a unique brown-sugar taste, this is a classical Japanese treat. One bag includes 22+ individual wrapped candies.”

Name: Pocket Black Sugar Throat Treatment Candy
Brand: Nobel
Place Purchased: Jbox
Price: $1.50
Size: 50 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Hard Candy

In the tradition of a cough drop (similar to Ludens), this black sugar candy is packaged to carry easily in your pocket. Each piece is individually wrapped and has the distinctive taste of black sugar mellowed with a tinge of honey and menthol.

Name: Kasugai Honey & Black Sugar Candy
Brand: Kasugai
Place Purchased: Jbox
Price: $1.50
Size: 250 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Hard Candy

Shaped like little gems, these black sugar hard candies are individually sealed and packed with a little silica gel pack to keep them dry. They have a very smooth, sweet taste because of the honey. Not as smokey tasting as the Kuro Ame made by the same company, these are probably a great one to carry as a little pick me up and throat soother. Of the three products I bought, this is the one that is already gone.

Ratings - Kuro Ame - 6 out of 10
Pocket Black Sugar Throat Treatment Candy - 7 out of 10
Kasugai Black Sugar & Honey - 8 out of 10

For more reading: Black food power, Sugar Cane - Okinawa’s Way of Life, Kokutoo - Black Sugar

Also - see previous review of Asahi Drops (I didn’t know what Japanese black sugar was when I reviewed them)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:32 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewKasugaiHard Candy & Lollipops6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyJapan

Comments
  1. oh wow. i had no idea about this stuff. amasing. you inspired me to get my own blogger thingy. no more livejournal.

    Comment by violet on 12/31/69 at 4:00 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    If you’re a brown sugar (or maple sugar) fan they’re well worth the effort to track down.

    Thanks for reading and all the great comments.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/31/69 at 4:00 pm #
  3. There is a Chinese cough medicine syrup/candy. It’s black and has a similar molasses taste with mint in it. It’s quite good actually, but a little sweet. It’s called Nin Jiom or something like that.

    Comment by Stirstick on 4/06/07 at 7:15 pm #
  4. I think that Okinawan candy is made from the sugarcane that the government subsidizes out here.

    Comment by Okinawa on 2/07/08 at 10:02 am #
  5. haha im in food technology browsing the internet for japanese candy and what do i come across??
    BLACK SUGAR CANDY!!which sounds absolutely yummy! i am actually considering having some shipped to New ZEaland ^^

    Comment by Serena on 6/25/08 at 11:23 am #

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