Watagashi (Wata Ame) : The Japanese Candy Has its Roots in the U.S.
Dagashi (駄菓子) is the Japanese word that refers to cheap and relatively small snacks and candies especially for children.Those snacks and candies are generally being sold for 10 to 100 yen mainly at supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores.
As it is said that the origin of Dagashi dates backs to the Japan’s Edo period, the Japanese candy (snack) genre has about 300 years of history and comes in so many different types today.
When it comes to representative Japanese Dagashi snacks and candies, Umaibo (うまい棒) (Amazon.com) is one of the most popular Dagashi snacks, which is known as “the King of Dagashi”.Other than the legendary corn puff snack bar, as I wrote before, there are a bunch of famous Dagashi with a long history loved by children and adults alike.
In fact, I have introduced various kinds of Dagashi snacks and candies until now, and most of them are what were created in Japan.However, the Dagashi candy I bought today clearly has its roots in the United States.
Watagashi (Wata Ame) : The Dagashi Candy Has its Roots in the United States
What I purchased this time is “Watagashi (わたがし)”.The Dagashi candy is also known as “Wata Ame (綿あめ)”, which is literally translated as “cotton candy”.Yes, the Japanese Dagashi candy has its roots in the machine-spun cotton candy invented in 1897 in the U.S.
This Dagashi, Watagashi is being sold for about 50 yen in Japan.It looks like a white lump rather than candy floss as the Dagashi is filled in the small package.
But don’t worry, when tearing the candy off, the surface becomes fluffy like a familiar cotton candy.In fact, as soon as I put the white stuff in the mouth, it melted away.
According to the description on the back of the package, the Watagashi is made from just the 2 ingredients, sugar and flavoring, and this cotton candy has the same taste as usual ones.
I don’t know whether the packaged cotton candy like this Dagashi Watagashi is also being sold in overseas countries, but if you are interested and have a chance, try the Japanese cotton candy, and compare the difference between Watagashi and your beloved cotton candy !