Candy Comparison: Otoko Ume Sheet vs Umeboshi no Sheet
“Ume (梅)” is a tree very familiar to us Japanese which represents Japan’s winter season. It has white or reddish blossoms and is referred to as Japanese apricot in English.
Ume trees bear fruit, which is known as Ume plums. Unlike apricot fruits, the Japanese plum is characterized by a strong sour taste and doesn’t become sweet even if it’s fully ripened.
Ume plums are not only used in Japanese cuisine, but they can also be the main ingredient for sweets and candies.
In fact, a wide range of Ume candies can be seen at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan, and in recent years, new types of Ume treats are coming out one after another.
Actually, what I bought this time is just that type, which consists of sheets of Umeboshi paste.
Japanese Umeboshi Candy Sheets
I bought these Umeboshi candies today. One is Nobel’s “Otoko Ume Sheet (男梅シート)”, and the other is iFactory’s “Umeboshi no Sheet (梅ぼしのシート)”.
The former is a relatively new product that was released a few years ago, while the latter went on the market about 10 years ago and is known as the pioneer of sheet-type Ume plum candies.
As I mentioned above, both treats come in sheet form and are available even online outside of Japan nowadays. However, as shown above, they are quite different in color.
Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet
Actually, “Otoko Ume (男梅)” is the brand name for Nobel’s Umeboshi products, including Umeboshi liquors and Umeboshi candies like this and this.
By the way, what I picked up this time looks like a small piece of beef jerky rather than a candy sheet.
In fact, the texture of this candy is close to beef jerky. In other words, these sheets have a pretty tough, chewy texture.
However, unlike beef jerkies, while chewing the thick sheet in the mouth, it gradually melts away.
This Otoko Ume Candy isn’t sweet but is full of the authentic flavor of Umeboshi plums.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Based on the ingredient list on the back of the package, the Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet mainly consists of Ume plum flesh, salt, cornstarch, sugar, starch syrup, acidifier, amino acid seasoning, sorbitol, and sweeteners (aspartame, L-phenylalanine compound).
The calories per bag (27 grams) are 74 kcal, and the Japanese treat contains 4.8 g salt equivalents in total.
iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet
In contrast, iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet is thin in thickness and light in color compared to the Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet above.
This Umeboshi candy has a texture like chewing gum, but unlike that, it melts in the mouth.
Right after you put the sheet in the mouth, you get a sweet taste. But while chewing, the taste turns into somewhat sour acidic.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
According to the ingredient list on the back of the package, the iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet mainly consists of Ume plums, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, starch, sweeteners (aspartame, L-phenylalanine compound), acidifier, and amino acid seasoning.
The calories per bag (14 grams) are 42 kcal, and this Umeboshi candy contains 1.9 g salt equivalents in total.
I think the latter iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet is easier to eat for beginners as it has moderate sweetness, and its Umeboshi flavor isn’t overpowering.
But if you love not sweet traditional Umeboshi plums, I think the former Otoko Ume Sheet is a better choice for you.