Lotte Koume: The Most Famous Ume Candy in Japan
Japan has a wide range of foods made with plums called “Ume (梅)”, among which the pickled Ume plum, Umeboshi is probably most famous, and in fact many of us Japanese like to eat the salted plums with plain rice at meals.
Not only for foods and dishes in Japanese cuisine but Ume plums are actually also commonly used as the main ingredient in Japanese confections.
In fact, a variety of Ume plum candies can be found at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan, among which if someone asks me what Ume candy is best known, I will answer it is Lotte Koume Candy.
Lotte Koume Candy
The Koume Candy is a hard plum candy released by Lotte in 1974 and now it’s become one of the most loved Ume flavored treats in Japan.
The product actually consists of 2 different types of Ume candy; most are small in size with a three-layer structure.
Although the smaller Koume candy itself is sweet, it is coated with salty-sour Ume powder and even has a somewhat acidic Umeboshi paste filling.
Hence, you can savor 3 different Ume flavors while you are sucking on the small candy.
The product mostly consists of the small-size Koume, but plus it contains 2 large balls.
The larger Koume candy is sweeter than the small size one but it is also filled with somewhat sour Umeboshi paste.
Incidentally, both the small and large Koume candies are made using plum juice extracted from “Nanko-Ume (南高梅)”, a high-grade Ume species.
Lastly, let’s see the specific ingredients of Koume Candy.
According to the list on the back of the package, the large Koume candy mainly consists of starch syrup, sugar, Ume paste (starch syrup, sugar, Ume plum flesh, Ume plum extract), concentrated Ume plum juice from Nanko Ume, and Ume extract.
Meanwhile, the main ingredients in the small Koume candy are starch syrup, sugar, Ume paste, Ume powder, concentrated Ume plum juice from Nanko Ume, Ume extract, and gelatin.