Wataame: Japanese Cotton Candy with Roots in the U.S.
Dagashi (駄菓子) is the generic name for cheap, relatively small, unique Japanese snacks and candies, whose price ranges from 10 yen to about 100 yen.
The origin dates back to the Edo period, about 300 years ago, and today, the genre comes in countless varieties.
Among such treats, Umaibo (うまい棒) is one of the most popular modern Dagashi snacks, sometimes called the King of Dagashi.
Additionally, several Dagashi treats have been long-time favorites in Japan, which include Wataame (綿あめ).
Wata-Ame, also known as Wata-Gashi (わたがし), is Japanese cotton candy, as Wata (綿/わた) is the word for cotton in English.
Yes, the Japanese treat has its roots in the machine-spun cotton candy invented in 1897 in the U.S.
This Watagashi only costs 50 yen, generally regarded as a Dagashi.
It looks like a white sponge rather than candy floss as the maker compresses the treat to fill it in the small packaging.
But don’t worry. After tearing off the sweets into small pieces, the cut section becomes fluffy like your familiar cotton candy.
Plus, once you put the white stuff in your mouth, it quickly melts away.
As for the ingredients, the Wataame only consists of 2 things, sugar, and flavoring. So simple.
I don’t know whether cotton candy comes in a package like this in your country.
But if you are interested and get a chance, it would be fun to find out how Japanese Wataame or Watagashi is.