Sakuma Drops: All about the Japanese Fruit Candy
A work of Studio Ghibli, “Spirited Away” won Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003, and in Japan, it is known as the movie that recorded the highest receipts in the history of Japanese films.
As you know, Studio Ghibli has another hit movie “Grave of the Fireflies”, in which, “Setsuko (節子)”, a younger sister of the main character “Seita (清太)”, loves a tin can of candies.
Actually, the hard candy that appears in the movie exists in reality and has been loved by us Japanese for as long as over a century.
The name of the Japanese treat that can be seen in Studio Ghibli’s work “Grave of the Fireflies” is “Sakuma Drops”, which actually comes in 2 varieties.
One is “Sakuma’s Drops (サクマ式ドロップス)” manufactured by “Sakuma Seika (佐久間製菓)” Confectionery which is known as the original, while the other is “Sakuma Drops (サクマドロップス)” by “Sakuma Seika (サクマ製菓)”.
Originally, Sakuma Seika was one company, which introduced the original Sakuma Drops in 1908. But during the Second World War, it, unfortunately, went out of business because of the short supply of sugar.
After the war, 2 Japanese persons relating to the original company founded “Sakuma Seika (佐久間製菓)” and “Sakuma Seika (サクマ製菓)” respectively.
How to Open the Tin Can
When I was a boy, I used to buy the original Sakuma Drops and enjoy sucking on the fruit candy. I liked shaking the tin can to guess how many drops still remained in it.
Actually, the hole of the tin can is sealed up firmly with a removable lid, so when opening, you need to use something hard, like a coin or scissors, to lift it up.
The tin can contains 26 pieces of hard candy in total, which are made up of 8 flavors.
As the picture above shows, the 8 flavors are
- Grape (Purple)
- Apple (Green)
- Lemon (Translucent)
- Strawberry (Red)
- Pineapple (Yellow)
- Japanese Peppermint (Milky White)
- Chocolate (Brown)
- Orange (Orange)
With a beautiful bright hue, each flavor tastes very good and doesn’t easily melt even in the summer heat.
Ingredients and Calories
Lastly, let’s see the specific ingredients and calories of Sakuma Drops. According to the list on the side of the can, with 391 kcal per 100 grams, the original Sakuma Drops, Sakuma’s Drops consists of sugar, starch syrup, fruit juice (apple, orange, grape, strawberry, lemon, pineapple), cacao mass, acidifier, flavoring, and colors (anthocyanin, cape jasmine, monascus, paprika).
(Reference Page: Wikipedia サクマ式ドロップス )