Asian culture is known for its creativity and flair, from k-pop/j-pop to anime. So their candies are no exception. Unlike American candies, they are often less sweet but packaged more vibrantly. If you walk into any Asian food market, the candy aisle is bursting with a mind-blowing array of colors, shapes, and flavors. It's hard to even know where to begin!
Well, here are ten candies to get your sweet tooth started on an international adventure of flavors. Even if you are not a candy person, these candies make great gifts for those who like to try something different.
10 Bourbon Every Burger Chocolate and Sesame Seed Cookies
Coming from Japan (the ruler of super cute candy) this cookie looks like a burger but in Kawaii bite-size pieces. Each dainty little sandwich has two sweetened crispy wheat biscuit "buns," a bar of savory milk chocolate "patty" and a delectable white chocolate "cheese."
The sesame seeds on top are made of simple candy but there is sesame flavor in the cookie itself. Together these adorable sliders are sugary, crunchy, and delicious! At less than five bucks for a box of fifteen, this would be a staple piece in a wacky snacks gift box or just for someone who loves Japanese candy.
9 Flavored Kit-Kats
Kit-Kats are popular enough in the US but in places like Japan? They're all the rage with over 200 flavors like fruit parfait, baked potato, and even soy sauce, the Asian Kit-Kat is an absolute MUST-try for every fan of Asian candy. They're number one flavor has to be Matcha Green Tea in which you don't have to be a super fan of green tea to love. Another weird but best seller is Wasabi that has a spicy hint of horseradish as you bite into it that fades to a deliciously subtle, sweet white chocolate and crunchy crispy wafer underneath.
8 Kasugai Gummy Candy
Kasugai Gummy Candies are possibly the best gummy you will ever eat. They contain real fruit juice and come in a variety of flavors such as apple (a personal favorite), muscat grape, and watermelon. Inside the bag, each one is individually wrapped to keep the gummies moist and chewy. Kasugai's top seller is their Ramune flavor. If you've ever had the Japanese soda, you know it's very bubbly and lightly sweet as well as having a distinct bottle. Its candy counterpart is just as juicy, refreshing and delicious. Ramune itself comes in several flavors too, but the original is lemon.
7 Hello Panda
Hello Panda is the most adorable little snack biscuits. Each cookie is round with ears, making them look like a panda's head and have images on them of pandas doing various sports like soccer or skating. The crunchy cookie outer layer is either vanilla or chocolate, depending on what the flavor is. Vanilla cookie if the filling is strawberry and chocolate cookie for chocolate filling. This flaky crispy outer shell has a light flavor while the creamy inside is a frosting consistency and super sweet. The chocolate ones are more popular in the US and have a smooth bittersweet center.
6 Meiji Apollo Strawberry Cones
Meiji Apollo Strawberry Cones are a personal favorite. Each cone has rich milk chocolate on the bottom and flavorful strawberry flavor on top. Unlike some strawberry candies that taste artificial and even chemical, these do not.
Each tasty little morsel is like biting into a chocolate-covered strawberry and is soft and creamy all the way through, which makes them highly addicting. I would recommend getting several boxes when you find them. Which at only three bucks a box, it's no wonder it is growing in popularity in the US. Your local Asian food market is sure to have them in stock.
5 White Rabbit Creamy Candy
White Rabbit Creamy Candy has been around a long time. This Chinese candy looks like a white Tootsie roll. Each candy is wrapped in a wax paper wrapper and then wrapped in a paper-thin layer of rice paper, which is edible. The original flavor is vanilla, but it also comes in peanut, maize, red bean, strawberry, mango, and coffee. Despite problems caused by the 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal where it was found that many milk products contained melamine, the soft, chewy goodness has stuck around. Except now you may find it under the name Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy due to the stigma left behind.
4 Glico Cream Collon
Glico Cream Collon may have a really weird name but don't let that keep you away. These thin crispy rolled cookie tubes are filled with frosting-thick cream and, to be honest, looks a lot like Combos in the sense they're both short little rolls with filling in them but the candy version. The outer shell tastes like a light sugar wafer, while the inside tastes like birthday cake frosting, sweet but not overly so. This flavor is only one of many since Collon has been around so long. Other flavors include green tea, grape soda, mixed berry, and camembert cheese.
3 Lotte Black Black Gum
Lotte’s Black Black is a caffeinated chewing gum that gets its name from its charcoal-like color. Although there's a persistent rumor this gum contains nicotine, it doesn't. It does, however, contain nicotinamide, which is a substance related to vitamin B. Now what does something like this taste like? It's extremely minty, like an Altoids mint, which lasts a few minutes leaving a refreshing feeling and has a light minty taste that lasts long afterward. There is supposed to be 5 mg of caffeine per stick which would make this something perfect to chew on the way to work or school.
2 Black Thunder Chocolate Bar
Black Thunder is a chocolate bar like no other. Yuraku Confectionery Company wanted to make a bar that was heavy in texture, rich in flavor and at a decent price. It has decadent dark cocoa-flavored cookie pieces mixed with Japanese-style crisped rice and coated in rich dark milk chocolate. The Black Thunder candy bar is available in mini size and even "Big Thunder," which is basically a king size. They also have several other varieties such as Morning Thunder, which is a breakfast bar that contains cinnamon-flavored cookie pieces mixed with peanuts and soybean puffs and coated in milk chocolate.
1 Kracie Popin Cookin DIY Candy Set
Have your parents ever told you "don't play with your food?” Well, the makers over at Kracie want you to do just that with their Popin' Cookin' DIY Candy Kits. These kits come in sets such as sushi, bento, pizza, and even ramen, all made with tasty chewy gummy candy. The best part is they're not even expensive. You can find a four-piece set on Amazon for twenty bucks. But looking at them, you can't help but wonder if these are made for kids, but Japanese candy lovers don't care. They just get together with friends and having a DIY candy party.