Sanuki Oiri: Kagawa’s Specialty Lucky Arare Rice Crackers
When it comes to specialty food of Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku island, generally known as “Japan’s 3 Major (Best) Udon Noodles“, “Sanuki Udon (讃岐うどん)” is especially famous as a noodle dish widely enjoyed in Japan.
In ancient times, Kagawa was called “Sanuki no Kuni (讃岐国: 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): 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, it is said that the origin of Oiri dates back to around 1587 when peasants in the region offered parched Arare rice crackers made up of 5 colors to their lord as a wedding gift for his daughter.
The lord was delighted to see the colorful snacks, and from then on the parched Arare crackers 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)”, which literally means parched things.
In addition to the small colorful Arare crackers Oiri, the product I obtained this time also contains 2 thin round-shaped Senbei-like rice crackers.
According to the ingredient list pictured above, these Oiri crackers are made from glutinous rice “Mochi-Gome (餅米)”, Japanese caster sugar called “Johakuto (上白糖)“, starch syrup, starch, cinnamon oil, baking powder, and colors.
The colorful Arare rice crackers, Oiri has a delicate sweetness characteristic of the Johakuto sugar. The parched Arare is crusty, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and melts away in your mouth.
Where to Buy
These parched Arare rice crackers are produced in the western regions of Kagawa and the eastern part of Ehime and are sold mainly as a gift or souvenir, where the sweet treats can be bought for several hundred yen.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia おいり )