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 actually generally known as “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 (讃岐)” 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 regional specialty Arare rice cracker of western Sanuki
Actually, in the Seisan region, there is a traditional custom that the bride and groom presents a rice cracker to their guests at the wedding party. The rice snack is a type of “Arare (あられ)” rice crackers and called “Oiri (おいり)”.
As for the history, it is said that the origin of Oiri dates back to around 1587, when peasants offered parched Arare rice crackers made up of 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. By the way, Oiri is the abbreviation for “Oirimono (お煎りもの)” literally meaning parched things.
In addition to the colorful Oiri Arare crackers, what I obtained this time also contains 2 thin round-shaped rice crackers like Senbei.
According to the ingredient list, these Oiri crackers are made from 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 above, the parched Arare is crusty, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Besides, Oiri has such a light texture that when you put the vivid colored Arare rice snack in the mouth, it melts away in an instant.
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 it is being sold for several hundred yen as a souvenir.
(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia おいり )