Update : January 29, 2019

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Confectionery and Others



Akumaki (Rice Cake)

Chimaki,called Akumaki in Kagoshima, is glutinous rice wrapped in the skin of dried bamboo shoots, and is an integral part of Kagoshima's May Festival. The rice is soaked in lye overnight, wrapped in bamboo, and then cooked for 3-4 hours in lye. Due to the fact that Akumaki is made with lye, it has a long shelf-life. This was apparently the main reason why the Satsuma army used it as rations, thus making it a historical local food.

Kagoshima Ramen

There are so many ramen noodle shops in Kagoshima that it seems like one cannot takea walk around town without seeing one. The secret of the Kagoshima ramen is in the soup; made by boiling the bones of locally raised pigs. At first glance,the soup seems oily but it is actually quite light and nutritious. Each shop has its own distinctive flavor, and as the noodles also comein different shapes, such as very fine or frizzy noodles, there is a large variety of Kagoshima ramen for everyone to enjoy.

Karukan (Steamed Rice Cake)

There presentative sweet of Kagoshima, Karukan, iswell known throughout the country. A steamed sweet made of high-quality yams,roughly powdered non-glutinous rice, and sugar; the pleasant fragrance and unique texture of yam potatoes and a refined flavor have made this a favorite souvenir.

Shirokuma (Shaved Ice Dessert)

There is an interesting anecdote about Shirokuma. When summer vacation was drawing near, a man from Kagoshima who was studying at a university in Tokyo said, "I want to go back to Kagoshima and eat Shirokuma (polar bear)'". His friends were all astonished to hear that people in Kagoshima eat polar bears! In actual fact, Shirokuma is the name of a dessert that is a bowl of shaved ice with condensed milk and plenty of fruit. For Kagoshima's citizens, this iced Shirokuma brings back many nostalgic memories.
There are several theories about how Shirokuma came to be, but it is said that thisfrosty treat was originally created about 60 years ago when a cotton store located on Nishida street began selling snow cones as a side business duringthe summer months. Their new menu included Shirokuma, which was named after the whitebear on the label of the can of condensed milk used to make the treat. This iced Shirokuma became verypopular, and shops in downtown Tenmonkan and throughout the city began selling it as well.

Sakezushi (Sake-Fermented Sushi)

Kagoshima cuisine tends to be plain andsimple, but the Sakezushi is a colorful and splendid exception to the rule. It is made by placing cooked rice in Ryukyu lacquer ware, and adding sea bream, deep fried fish cake, bamboo shoots, butterbur leaves, thinly sliced omelet andother seasonal ingredients, then adding locally-brewed rice wine and finally letting it rest and ferment for more than four hours.

It has a rich aroma and a unique sweet flavor. There isa story that explains the origin of the Sakezushi. One day, the lord of Shimadzu left his dinner overnight in the kitchen aftera party and as a result it fermented and gave off a fragrant aroma the next day.

Jambo-Mochi (Twin Skewered Glutinous Rice Balls)

Freshly pounded glutinous rice in small balls about the size of ancient Japanese gold coins are skewered on two bamboo sticks, roasted, and basted with a warm, sweet sauce. The tradition of always using two sticks has been said to be in imitation of the long sword and the short sword carried by samurai warriors,and also gives them the name "jambo", meaning "bothsticks".

Harukoma (Thick Jelly Dessert)

A steamed sweet made of glutinous rice and red beans,this was first sold by lower ranking Kagoshima samurai as a side job. It was called “Umanmara (horse’s penis)”, because of the resemblance to its shapeand color.

When the sixteenth feudal lord Shimadzu Shigehide asked his vassal for the name ofthe sweet, the vassal did not know how to frame his answer and instead blurted out "Harukoma". It is said that thisis the reason why it came to be called "Harukoma".

Despite the simplicity of its taste, this sweet is bursting with the dry humor of the people of Satsuma.

Fukuregashi (SteamedCake)

These are steamed home-made sweets made with flour, sugar and baking soda. Brown sugar is commonly used in Kagoshima, and because these treats are easy to make, they are often eaten as snacks or with tea. Commercially produced varieties also tend to have a flavor that celebrates simplicity.

Kajiki-Manju (Sweet Confection)

Also called "Sake (alcohol) Manju". It is said that these sweets have a long history as they were brought to Kajiki in the Ashikaga Period (1336-1573). The filling varies from shop to shop, with some using powdered bean paste and others using crushed bean paste. The puffy pure white crust is delicious, and some varieties include mugwort (herb).

Ijuin-Manju (Sweet Confection)

Glutinous rice powder is first roasted and kneaded with syrup, and then the dough is used to wrap up white bean paste to make this sweet specialtyof Hioki City.

Molded in the shape of the Shimadzu family crest (a cross within a circle, similar to aCeltic cross), it is a favorite treat among both the young and old.

Kagoshima PR Division, TEL: 099-286-3050