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 plums feature a strong sour taste and don’t become sweet even if they have 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 are sold at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan, and in recent years new types of Ume candies are coming out one after another.
Actually, what I bought this time is just that type, which consists of sheets of Umeboshi paste. By the way, “Umeboshi (梅干し)” is a quintessential Japanese pickle made of Ume plums.
Japanese Umeboshi Candy Sheets
I bought these 2 Umeboshi candies today, namely, Nobel’s “Otoko Ume Sheet (男梅シート)” and iFactory’s “Umeboshi no Sheet (梅ぼしのシート)”.
The former, Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet is a relatively new product that was released a few years ago, while the latter, iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet went on the market about 10 years ago and is known as a pioneer of sheet-type Ume plum candies.
As I mentioned above, both candies come in the form of sheets and are being sold even on some online shopping sites outside of Japan. However, as shown above, they are quite different in color.
Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet
The Otoko Ume candy I bought this time looks like a small piece of beef jerky rather than a candy sheet.
In fact, the texture of this Umeboshi candy is close to that of beef jerkies. In other words, the Otoko Ume candy sheet has a pretty hard, chewy texture.
However, unlike beef jerkies, when you chew the thick sheet for a while, it melts in the mouth.
This Otoko Ume Candy has plenty of flavor of Umeboshi plums. It features a sour taste characteristic of Umeboshi and isn’t sweet at all.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
According to the ingredient list on the back of the package, the Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet candy mainly consists of Ume plum flesh (made in China), salt, cornstarch, sugar, starch syrup, acidifier, amino acids, sorbitol, and sweeteners (aspartame, L-phenylalanine compound).
The Japanese Umeboshi candy has 74 kcal per one bag (27 g) and contains 4.8 g salt equivalents.
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 Japanese Umeboshi candy has a texture like a sheet of chewing gum, but unlike chewing gum, it melts away in the mouth.
Right after you put the Umeboshi no Sheet in the mouth, you will get a sweet taste from the candy. But when you chew the candy for a while, the taste changes into somewhat acid.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
According to the ingredient list on the back of the package, the iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet candy mainly consists of Ume plums, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, starch, sweeteners (aspartame, L-phenylalanine compound), acidifier, and amino acids.
The Japanese Umeboshi candy has 42 kcal per one bag (14 g) and contains 1.9 g salt equivalents.
I think that the latter iFactory Umeboshi no Sheet is a candy recommended for Umeboshi beginners as it is somewhat sweet with a gentle Umeboshi flavor, while the former Nobel Otoko Ume Sheet is a candy with authentic Umeboshi flavor.
If you love traditional, salty-sour Umeboshi plums, I think the former Otoko Ume Sheet candy is perfect for you.