Tankiri Ame : What type of classic Japanese candy is it?

When you think of classic Japanese candies, what comes to mind? As for me, that reminds me of “Shio Ame (塩飴)“, “Kuro Ame (黒飴)“, “Hakka Ame (ハッカ飴)“, “Neri Ame (練り飴)” and so on. Actually, all of these are common classic Japanese candies with a simple taste available at many supermarkets in Japan. However, the classic Japanese candy I want to introduce this time is hardly seen being sold. By the way, “Ame (飴)” is the Japanese word meaning hard candies.

What type of Japanese candy is Tankiri Ame?

The other day when I went shopping at a large supermarket located in the city of Niigata, I headed to the snack and candy section and looked for interesting candies for this blog, and I found a white Japanese candy with a distinctive shape that I had never seen before, which attracted my interest.

This is why I have the Japanese candy whose name is “Tankiri Ame (たんきり飴)” now. According to the internet search results of “what is Tankiri Ame?”, Tankiri Ame is originally a candy for clearing the throat of phlegm, and there seem to be a variety of local Tankiri Ame candies in various areas of Japan. Therefore, some local Tankiri Ame contain herbal medicines like ginger in the candy.

This Tankiri Ame candy is made by heating ingredients with a boiler, taking time. The ingredients originally have a black color, but when simmering them, the color changes from black to white. Like this candy, the traditional Japanese candy made with a “Kama (釜)” boiler is generally called “Ji-Ame (地飴)”

Thanks to the producing method, this classic Japanese candy has an unique shape and texture. It looks swelled, yet contains no air. Besides, unlike typical hard candies, the Tankiri Ame candy is easy to break into pieces when biting, even though it is hard in texture.

The ingredients

According to the ingredient list on the back of the bag, this Tankiri Ame is hand-made with only 3 ingredients, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and starch syrup. Hence, it has a mild, gentle sweetness that makes us Japanese feel nostalgic.

Where to buy Tankiri Ame  

As I wrote above, Tankiri Ame is hardly seen being sold even at supermarkets in Japan, so it may be a good idea to buy it on online shopping sites like Amazon Japan if you are interested.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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