Sakuma Drops are a famous Japanese hard candy that’s considered a classic piece of culture. It’s been around before World War II, and has a very iconic tin that holds the fruity candies. If you’re ever seen the anime movie “Graveyard of the Fireflies”, these candies are featured throughout the film and has contributed to their continued popularity. Japan loved making limited edition candies, as shown by the constant stream of strangely flavored Kitkats that come out with each season. Well, now it’s Sakuma Drop’s turn!
These Sakuma Drops are based on flavors you find in specific regions of Japan. Each place is noted for a special type of food product, and here the Sakuma Drops highlights them. I was given these free samples graciously from Jlist.com, who was eager to see what I thought of this special Japanese candy. Onto the tasting!
Buta Don: The drop itself is honey-tea colored, the flavor is subtle and sweet at first. There’s notes of soy sauce and smoke. The flavor doesn’t escalate much from there, I get a hint of ginger flavor (maybe trying to mimic the subtle starchy sweetness of rice?), so it tastes like “candy” to me more than “pork”. I also haven’t eaten buta don in some time, but this is a delightful sweet/savory flavor like a good pork glaze. I admit, it’s pretty good.
Sasebo Burger:. This at first just tastes sweet, but then a smokey, beefy flavor kicks in that really tastes like a hamburger. You get a taste of sweetness, like there’s ketchup in there, but man….the flavor is authentic and it’s very strange. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact I’m eating a hard candy that tastes so accurately of hamburgers. I can’t decide if I like it or not, cause it was fun and tasty to eat, but my head just keeps thinking “this isn’t right….”. Definitely worth a try if you’re a big hamburger lover.
Kisune Udon: The drop smells smokey. It’s immediately sweet/salty of soy sauce. It has flavors of udon noodle soup, hints of smoke and seaweed of the hondashi broth. I don’t really get any flavors inari packets, which are fried tofu bits which are the distinguishable characteristic of the kitsune udon soup. Again, it’s tasty, but not something I crave. Part of my head is not able to wrap itself around the ideas of a savroy candy drop.
Roasted Corn: Smells buttery and is a more yellow color than the other which were a light creamy beige. The flavor is lightly sweet, very smoky with a hint of butter and an authentic flavor of corn. It’s spot on and pretty yummy. I actually kept eating these.
Tokyo Noodle: Starts off sweet, flavors of light notes of miso and soy sauce. It has the starchy sweetness of noodles and broth, a hint of meat. It’s very authentic with no hints of seaweed. I don’t recall what regional Tokyo ramen has in it (a quick google search tells me it’s soy-flavored chicken broth). But its very authentic and works well as a candy drop.
Gyouza: These are immediately savory and has notes of toasted sesame. it’s has a very distinguished grilled flavor to it, and it reminds me pumpkin seeds. It’s totally savory, but somehow in this flavor, it works. I liked it.
Sapporo Beer: It’s sweet, mild in flavor, and has a nice malty flavor to it. A hint of lemon maybe, which much be the alcoholic flavor trying to peek through. It’s the most traditional candy-like one in the bunch, and I enjoyed it very much.
Oh man these were fun to taste and a I’m so glad I got the opportunity to try them. I liked the ones I thought wouldn’t work, and I disliked the ones I thought would, and overall they were a pleasant surprise. I love candies like this that open up my candy experiences to new unique places. Pork flavored or not, I really recommend trying Sakuma Drops if you ever get the chance.
Rating: Buta Don, Roasted Corn, Tokyo Noodle, Sapporo Beer, Gyouza
Will Eat Again
Kitsune Udon, Sasebo Burger
Not Worth It