Ame vs. Okashi: What’s the Difference in Meaning?
Okashi, Wagashi, and Dagashi are 3 Japanese words for snacks or confectionery. But they slightly differ in meaning, as I wrote before.
Okashi vs. Ame
Okashi (お菓子) can refer to any snack, candy, sweet, regardless of where they are made. In other words, it is the collective term for snacks.
In addition to Okashi, there is one more word meaning candy in the Japanese language, called Ame (飴). But how does this term differ from Okashi?
What is Ame (飴)?
Ame (飴) is a category included in Okashi and generally refers to hard candy, typically used as a suffix, like Hakka-Ame (ハッカ飴), Shio-Ame (塩飴), Kuro-Ame (黒飴), and Nodo-Ame (のど飴).
Ame with a sphere or ball shape has another name, Ame-Dama (飴玉).
Kata-Ame (固飴) and Mizu-Ame (水飴)
Strictly speaking, Ame is further divided into two types, Kata-Ame (固飴) and Mizu-Ame (水飴).
Kata-Ame means Hard Candy, and most Japanese Ame treats are this type. They have a texture that slowly melts in your mouth.
On the other hand, Mizu-Ame is a thick, gooey, stretchy, honey-like candy made from starch syrup.
The word, Mizu (水), means water in Japanese, and like water, Mizu-Ame is clear in color.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 飴 )