Meijiya Yukari: Niigata’s Unique Arare Rice Crackers
Niigata, the prefecture where I live, is a famous rice production area in Japan, and the quality of the rice is highly regarded.
Because of that, my prefecture prides itself on specialties made from rice, which include Sake and rice crackers such as Senbei, Okaki, and Arare.
In fact, many food companies in Niigata manufacture and sell those traditional Japanese rice crackers. And many of the products are well recognized nationwide.
Out of those, today let me introduce a classic, unique Arare rice cracker with which you can make tea.
Yukari (ゆか里) from Meijiya (明治屋)
Yesterday, I got an Arare rice cracker called “Yukari (ゆか里)” from my aunt.
The snack has more than 100 years of history and is popular as a souvenir or gift among tourists to Niigata.
As you can see in the photo above, Yukari is a tiny Arare rice cracker with bulges similar to Konpeito, a traditional Wagashi confection made only with sugar.
But unlike Konpeito, the Arare Yukari is made from glutinous rice “Mochi Gome (餅米)”, and its core rice cracker is coated in a layer of colored sugar.
Ingredients and Flavors
Specifically, according to the label pictured above, the main ingredients in these Yukari crackers are granulated sugar, glutinous rice, starch syrup, colors, and flavoring.
Incidentally, the yellow-colored Yukari has a Yuzu citrus flavor (original), the green one: Matcha green tea flavor, the orange one: ginger flavor, and the pink one: Shiso (perilla) flavor.
Arare Floating Yukari Tea
Yukari is a type of Arare featuring its sweet sugar coating, which can be eaten as it is. But usually, these rice crackers are used to make tea as follows.
First, put some Yukari crackers in a cup and pour boiling water into it.
Once the coating dissolves in the water and watercolor turns yellowish, the tiny star-like crackers will go up from under the water.
When most of them have come to the surface, it is ready to drink. The resultant tea is sweetish with a pleasant fragrance associated with the citrus fruit Yuzu.
Where to Buy
The Arare Yukari is produced and sold by “Meijiya Yukari (明治屋ゆか里)”, a long-established confectionery shop founded in 1900 in Niigata City, where you can buy these Yukari crackers.
Shop Informaion: Meijiya Yukari
Address: 1-2599 Minato-Machi-Dori, Chuo-Ku, Niigata City, Niigata Pref.
Open: 9:00 to 20:00