日本語 | 中文 (簡体) | 中文 (繁體) | Korean  
  
 Register now!!    Login  
att.JAPAN WEB


att. Japanese Culture - Oyatsu
att. Culture - Oyatsu
You are here: att.JAPAN > General Information > Oyatsu
att.JAPAN Issue 42, September 2008

Oyatsu - Japanese afternoon snacks

Pudding, dumplings, cakes, cookies, ice cream, chocolate … Do you enjoy afternoon tea? Many people eat snacks or light meals around 3 p.m. when they are a little hungry. In Japan, such snacks or light meals are called “oyatsu” . This word is derived from the snacks people ate at “yatsu-doki,” which falls between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. , during the Edo period (about 400 years ago) to reduce hunger.

What kind of snacks have Japanese people eaten?

 1000 years ago (Heian period)
Ordinary people ate fried rice, fruits, nuts or potatoes. However, aristocra ts ate sweet rice cakes.

Fried rice – snacks for ordinary people


Tsubakimochi (Camellia rice cake) – snacks for aristocra ts
Camellia rice cake, which is mentioned in the “Tale of Genji,” is a rice cake made of rice powder and sweet juice from plants and covered with a leaf of camellia. It was served at parties after “kemari,” a game of kick-ball played by courtiers in ancient Japan. As sugar was not used, its shape and taste was different from the camellia rice cakes sold nowadays .


 200-400 years ago ( Edo period)
Snacks for ordinary people developed rapidly.

The original forms of Japanese confectionery that are now eaten throughout Japan were made during the Edo period, when brown sugar became pervasive . These confections included sweet jellied adzuki-bean pastes (yokan), soft round rice cakes filled with sweet bean jam (daifuku), bean-jam-filled wafers (monaka), sweet pink rice cakes with red-bean paste covered with a leaf of cherry blossom (sakuramochi), and soy sauce rice crackers (shoyu senbei), . These sweets have been handed down to successive generations, with gradual changes.

 60 years ago
Baby boomers were in their childhood 60 years ago. Due to a shortage of goods immediately after WWII they ate homemade snacks, not the delicious sweets that were on the market .  

Simple snacks made quickly from available ingredients were popular, such as steamed bread, fried bread, rice crackers and baked sweet potatoes . These days, such snacks are recognized as simple and healthy snacks without superfluous materials, and some parents and grandparents encourage their children or grandchildren to eat them.

 The present
Snacks have come to be mass-produced by confectionery makers and many TV commercials are aired . New products, including snacks bundled with trading cards and featuring amusing designs, have been produced one after another in recent times and various snacks have become  popular. Some products have kept the same taste and design as their original versions. Others have been modified with new variations.  

These days, not only do children eat snacks, but also adults, especially younger working women, enjoy eating snacks. Some confections that were once popular attract attention again thanks to the marketing of new variations.

-Professional Baseball Chips
This snack was first released in 1973 with trading cards of pro baseball players who were very popular at the time . It enjoyed explosive sales. These days, a series of J. League (professional football ) chips is also available. (Photo: Calbee Foods Co., Ltd.)

2008 Professional Baseball Chips: Potato chips with trading cards of pro baseball players or team mascots.
2008 J. League Chips: Potato chips with trading cards of popular players from the J. League and Japan’s national team.

-Apollo Chocolate
This snack was launched in 1969 when Apollo 11, an American spaceship, made a lunar landing. Strawberry chocolate and milk chocolate are combined in the shape of the Apollo Earth Return Vehicle. It is still popular thanks to its pretty shape. (Meiji Seika Kaisha, Ltd.)

-Asparagus
“Asparagus,” which is an asparagus-shaped biscuit, has been enjoyed in the same shape and taste as the original, which was first sold 40 years ago. Its salty , sesame flavor makes for a good appetizer. (Ginbis Co., Ltd.)

-Tirol Choco
Tirol Choco was first sold for just 10 yen in 1962. Since then, 120 kinds of Tirol Choco have been sold in various flavors, such as fruits, vegetables, Japanese sweets  and coffee . (Tirol Choco Co., Ltd.)

Amao: Strawberry chocolate using a high-class strawberry called Amao covers a strawberry marshmallow.
Kinakomochi : A soft rice cake is filled in chocolate containing soybean flour.
Mirukumochi: White chocolate covers a gummy candy.
White & Cookie: Vanilla chocolate with crunchy black cookies and a crunchy texture.
Coffee Nougat: Slightly bitter chocolate with coffee nougat. A standard snack.
Milk: Chocolate with milk cream, containing plenty of fresh cream. A standard snack. 

-Pocky
Pocky was first released in 1967. New seasonal products, such as fruit series and nut series, are launched regularly. A soft type called “Yawaraka Pocky” is being released this August. (Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd.)

Pocky Choco: The taste is similar to chocolate, but with more chocolate and a thinner cookie.
Ichigo (Strawberry) Pocky: Sweet-and-sour Pocky containing more calcium, for the sake of children’s health.
Tsubutsubu Mikan (Orange) Pocky: Sweet-and-sour Pocky coated with orange cream and orange flesh.
Crush Pocky Bitter Crunch: Bitter taste with cocoa; good for adults.
Desert Pocky Soft Type [White Mont Blanc]: This variety tastes like a cake.

-Baby Star Ramen
An instant noodle manufacturer launched the first Baby Star Ramen in 1959, using residual pieces collected during the manufacturing process. Local limited editions remain popular today.

Sapporo Miso Ramen (Hokkaido): Baby Star Ramen made of corn.
Kani Ramen (Niigata): Noodles with rice and crab flavor.
Dodekai Fujinomiya Yakisoba (Shizuoka): This tastes of pan-fried noodles, which are popular near Mt. Fuji.
Izumo Soba (Shimane): This tastes of Izumo buckwheat noodles, a specialty of Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, and it also contains freshwater clam essence .
Taco Rice (Okinawa): Contains the flavor of local Okinawan food .

-Traditional sweets
Sasaguri: Sasaguri is a chestnut-shaped sweet made of chestnuts, a nut that is symbolic of autumn in Japan.
Miyo no Haru: This is a bean-jam-filled wafer called “monaka.” The outer texture is crunchy. (Toraya Confectionery Co., Ltd.)

The snacks of confectionery manufacturers introduced here are ones that can easily be bought at convenience stores or supermarkets. There are, however, many other afternoon snacks in Japan : for example, fish-shaped pancakes filled with bean jam (taiyaki), bean jam pancakes (dorayaki), famous local confections, candy floss and candy apples that are often sold at stalls in festivals, dumplings and delicious cakes.
Which snacks did you eat in your childhood? Which do you eat now?

Please visit www.att-japan.net and send us your recommendations.

Questionnaire on afternoon snacks
When you were children, which afternoon snacks did you eat (in your home country)?
Which afternoon snacks do you eat now? And where?
What is your favorite snack? And which snacks among those noted in our article do you most want to try ?
Please write freely about your favorite snacks, recommendations and other comments.
 (Your comment may be put on our website.)

Please let us know about you.
Home country, Age, Gender ( Required)
Name, E-mail (Optional)

 

You are here: att.JAPAN > General Information >Oyatsu

The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
facebook
Ads by Google

Company Info  |  Privacy policy  |  Contact Us
Copyright © 2000-2012 FINEX Co., Ltd.  |  Design by 7dana.com