Japanese Snack Food Review: Botan Rice Candy

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How can you go wrong with the good luck cat on the box, a picture of an elephant and a secret toy surprise? It’s like Cracker Jack, except there is no popcorn, or caramel coating or even peanuts. There IS a toy surprise but it’s a sticker (as it mentions on the box so that’s not much of a surprise) and it’s not wrapped. Other than that, exactly like it.

Alright, where to begin? One of the first things that caught my eye, after the good luck kitty and elephant and the fact that I would be getting something else fun besides the candy, was the promise that the outer wrapper was melt in my mouth edible. In actuality, the wrapper you can eat is technically the inner wrapper as the outer wrapper is your standard cellophane covering. They do not lie, though, you can indeed eat the inner wrapper and it does melt in your mouth so it is, in fact, edible. Some packing peanuts are edible too, as are those processed almost plasticized communion wafers so edible can, in some cases, have a very broad conceptual meaning.

The rice paper edible wrapping. How to describe it. You know, the communion wafer is pretty darned close but just a little more wheaty and hardy than the rice paper wrapping. If you could tone down the grainy flavor of a communion wafer and make it more ricey flavored and then cut it into 10 super thin almost transparent slices you might begin to have an inkling of what the rice paper wrapping is like. For those of you who are not catholic or haven’t had the pleasure of the mass produced Host, try this on for size. Take something that looks like thin thin THIN wax paper and tastes vaguely like saki but without the alcohol burn and then make sure that it dissolves when it comes into contact with water. While it’s dissolving, make sure it gets sorta slimy before it totally goes away. While you are at it, give it a very hint of bitterness, not so much that it stands out, but just enough to leave the taster puzzled. Put it all around some candy and you have what holds the Boton Rice candy. It’s not so very tasty and a little weird to eat.

On the plus side, just as you are about to comment on how strange the texture is and maybe how odd the flavor is, it has dissolved and gone away. There isn’t even an aftertaste. Halleluiah. All you are left with is the rice candy.

Ahhh, the candy. This too is an interesting texture. It’s not quite as pliable as taffy but not as set up as a gum drop. A very smooth taffy with attitude is a good tag line. It feels very gooey and sticky if you happen to chew on it (not that I happen to have first hand experience with that mind you) you might have a moment of panic that perhaps this stuff may stick to your dental work, or even just your teeth but wala! It too melts in your mouth after a bit so no worries.

The taste is interesting as well. TheMan described them as “chewy lemon drops” and I’ll have to say spot on, husband. It is sweet with a slightly citrus flavor and chewy. We both liked them, after the “edible” outer wrapper and after they had melted off our teeth.

Botan Rice Candy is pleasingly citrus in taste even if it is a bit weird in texture so I’ll go ahead and give them a

Rating

of 3.5 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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