Lotte Koume Candy: The Most Famous Ume Candy in Japan
Japan has a wide range of foods made with Ume plums, among which the pickled Ume plums, Umeboshi is probably most famous, and in fact many of us Japanese like to eat the salted Ume plums with steamed plain white rice at meals.
Not only for foods and dishes in Japanese cuisine, but actually Ume plums are also commonly used as a main ingredient in Japanese confections.
In fact, a variety of Ume candies and sweets are available at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan. Among those, if someone ask me what Ume plum candy is best known, I will answer it is Lotte Koume Candy.
Lotte Koume Candy
Lotte Koume Candy is a popular hard-type Ume candy that first went on the market in 1974, which is famous as a long-selling item in Japan.
The product consists of 2 different types of Ume plum candies, most of which are small-size ones with a three layer structure.
Specifically, the smaller Ume candy itself is sweet, but it is coated with a salty-sour Ume powder and even has a somewhat sour Umeboshi paste in the center part. So you can savor 3 different Ume flavors while you are sucking on the small candy.
Although the product mostly consists of the small-size Koume candies, it also contains 2 big-size pieces of Koume candy in the package. The big hard Ume candy is sweeter in taste than the small size one and is also filled with an Umeboshi paste.
Both the small and big Koume candies are made with the plum juice extracted from “Nanko-Ume (南高梅)” which is famous as a high-grade Ume plum in Japan.
Finally, according to the ingredient list on the back of the package, the big-size Koume candy mainly consists of starch syrup, sugar, Ume paste (starch syrup, sugar, Ume plum flesh, Ume extract), concentrated Ume plum juice from Nanko Ume, and Ume extract.
On the other hand, the main ingredients in the small Koume candy are starch syrup, sugar, Ume paste, Ume powder, and concentrated Ume plum juice from Nanko Ume, Ume extract, and gelatin.