Bontan Ame: Classic Citrus Pomelo Rice Candy

Japan has quite a few rectangle-shaped soft candies similar to caramel cubes. 

For example, Kombu Ame (こんぶ飴), which I introduced in this article, is one of that kind made from edible kelp.

Kombu Ame is a classic Japanese seaweed candy available in many supermarkets around the country. 

Bontan Ame (ボンタン飴)

In addition to Kombu Ame, Japan has one more famous soft candy similar in shape to caramel cubes.

And it is a citrus-flavored rice candy called Bontan Ame (ボンタン飴).

What is Bontan?

Bontan or Citrus Pomelo

Bontan (ボンタン) or Buntan (ブンタン), known as pomelo in English, is a citrus fruit with coarse pulp originating from southeastern Asia.

As shown above, the fruit of Asian origin resembles grapefruit. 

In Japan, Kagoshima Prefecture, situated in the southern part of the Kyushu island, is one of the large producers. 


Seika Foods Bontan Ame

As for history, a food company based in Kagoshima City named Seika Foods first created Bontan Ame (ボンタンアメ).

It used the prefecture’s specialty pomelo and put the candy on the market in 1924.

The packaging design hasn’t changed much for so long that it is easily recognizable.

And the pomelo candy now has been a favorite of both adults and children in Japan.


Now, let’s see the contents. The box has 14 pieces of orange-colored candy cubes made from Gyuhi rice cake.

Bontan Ame Citrus Pomelo Candy

Take a close look, and you will find the candy wrapped in a wafer sheet, which is soluble in the mouth.

Seika Foods Bontan Ame Citrus Pomelo Candy

As you can see in the photo, white particles top some candies, but they are starch and harmless.


Once you pop the block into the mouth, the outer wafer sheet, which is tasteless, first melts on the tongue.

The candy itself is soft and chewy, and if you bite and chew it, the delicious taste spreads in your mouth.

It is not overly sweet and has a subtle but pleasant citrus flavor.

Ingredients/Nutrition Facts

Seika Foods Bontan Ame Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Ingredients in the Bontan Ame rice candy
Starch syrup, Sugar, Maltose, Glutinous rice, Wafer sheet, Pomelo juice, Concentrated satsuma mandarin juice, Starch, Flavoring, Annatto pigment, Soy emulsifier

Nutritional Values

Nutritional Values per 100 g (one piece weighs about 5 grams)
Calories 341 kcal
Protein 1.1 g
Fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 84.0 g
Salt equivalents 0 g


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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