3 Must-Try Classic Japanese Cheese Snacks

Cheese works well with a wide range of foods and is often used for snack foods sold in the snack and candy section of Japanese supermarkets.

In fact, there are a bunch of popular snacks with cheese in Japan. For example, My favorite potato chips, Calbee Pizza Potato (Amazon.com) features having globs of cheese scattered on the surface.

3 Classic Unique Japanese Cheese Snacks

In addition, I love 3 classic Japanese snacks whose main ingredient is cheese. They are unique to Japan and loved by all generations, children and adults alike. Today, let me introduce them.

Cheese Tara (Chiitara)

Cheese Tara, or Chiitara is a popular snack food widely known as an “Otsumami (おつまみ)”. The Japanese term, Otsumami refers to the finger foods and nibbles eaten with alcoholic beverages.

Cheese Tara is a classic Japanese snack consisting of a stick of process cheese sandwiched between two thin dried codfish pastes.

The fish paste adds a different texture touch to the cheese stick and improves chewing feeling and enhances umami flavor. Cheese Tara is available at almost any supermarket and convenience store in Japan, and even on Amazon.com.

Cheese Kamaboko (Chiikama)

Kamaboko (かまぼこ) is a traditional Japanese food with about 900 years of history, which is made by baking or steaming a paste of whitefishes (like cod, shark, and lizard fish), sugar, salt, mirin sweet cooking rice wine and egg white.

Cheese Kamaboko is the modern one known as an Otsumami snack. As you can see from the above photo, it is a soft Kamaboko fish paste snack with half-dried process cheese bits embedded throughout.

Cheese Kamaboko is available at almost any supermarket and convenience store in Japan, and even on Amazon.com.

Cheese Kakidane 

Cheese Kakidane is a Kaki no Tane (柿の種) snack coated in cheese. Kaki no Tane is a classic Japanese rice cracker known as Kameda Crips (Amazon.com), which is a little bit spicy due to red chili pepper used in it.

However, when process cheese and Kaki no Tane are combined, the spiciness of the snack is offset by the mild flavor of cheese, and that results in a delicious snack loved by everyone.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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