Sanuki Oiri : Kagawa’s Specialty Lucky Arare Rice Crackers
When it comes to specialty foods of Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku island, “Sanuki Udon (讃岐うどん)” is famous as one of the noodle dishes widely enjoyed in Japan, which is generally known as “The Japan’s 3 Best Udon Noodles“.
In ancient times, Kagawa was called “Sanuki no Kuni (讃岐国 : the country of Sanuki)” and even now the old name, “Sanuki” is used as part of the name of regions. For example, the western part of Kagawa Prefecture is called “SeiSan (西讃)”.
Oiri (おいり) : The local specialty Arare rice cracker of western Sanuki
Actually, in the Seisan region, there is a traditional custom that the bride and groom present a rice cracker to their guests at the wedding party. The snack is a type of “Arare (あられ)” rice crackers and called “Oiri (おいり)”.
As for the history, the origin of Oiri dates back to around 1587, when peasants offered parched Arare rice crackers with 5 colors to their lord as a wedding gift for his daughter.
The lord was very pleased to see the colorful rice snacks, and from then on the parched Arare came to be known as a lucky item for the wedding. Actually, Oiri (おいり) is the abbreviation of “Oirimono (お煎りもの)”, which literally means parched things.
In addition to colorful Oiri crackers, the product I obtained also contains 2 thin round-shaped rice snacks. They look like Senbei rice crackers, but they aren’t, because Senbei (Amazon.com) is made from non-glutinous rice.
In contrast to Senbei, Arare rice crackers, including Oiri, are made from glutinous rice. In fact, according to the description on the product package, the ingredient of these Oiri crackers includes glutinous rice, Japanese superfine sugar called “Johakuto (上白糖)”, starch syrup, starch, cinnamon oil, baking powder, and food colorings.
Oiri rice crackers have a delicate sweetness that comes from Johakuto sugar, and as you can see from the photo, the parched Arare is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Besides, Oiri has such a light texture that when you put the colorful Arare rice snack in the mouth, it immediately melts away.
Where to buy Oiri rice crackers
The parched Arare rice crackers, Oiri is produced in the western regions of Kagawa Prefecture and the eastern part of Ehime Prefecture, where Oiri is being sold for several hundred yen as a souvenir.
(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia おいり )