Azuki Bar: Imuraya’s Classic Red Bean Ice Cream
“Azuki (小豆)”, also spelled as Adzuki, is a small red bean native to East Asia which is an essential ingredient for traditional Japanese confections or Wagashi, for “Anko (餡子)“, the sweet red bean paste that is an indispensable part of the Wagashi sweets, is made from the Azuki red beans.
In fact, the sweets made with Azuki red beans can be seen everywhere in Japan, and ice creams are no exception. In addition to the Monaka Azuki Ice Cream about which I wrote an article before, what I introduce here, “Azuki Bar (あずきバー)” from Imuraya is also a quintessential example of the Japanese ice cream whose primary ingredient is Azuki red beans.
Imuraya Azuki Bar Red Bean Ice Pop
With a familiar classical package design that reminds many Japanese of their childhood memories, the Imuraya’s red bean ice cream that was introduced in 1973, Azuki Bar has been a favorite summertime refreshment for decades in Japan.
The Japanese bean ice cream, Azuki Bar has a reddish-brown color and spots that make people think it must be made using lots of Azuki red beans, and I think that’s absolutely right as shown in the photo below.
If you haven’t tried Anko red bean paste yet, you might think the Japanese ice pop looks unappetizing, but it actually tastes good and is easy to eat. With a subtle Anko flavor, the reddish-brown ice cream part is mild, refreshing, and not that sweet, while the whole Azuki beans embedded throughout the ice pop are very soft and melt in the mouth.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
According to the ingredient list, the classic Japanese bean ice cream, Azuki Bar is a simple popsicle made from sugar, Azuki red beans, starch syrup, corn starch, and salt, without using milk. It has 156 kcal per one bar (85 ml) and contains 0.2 g salt equivalents.
Price and Where to Buy
Since the Imuraya Azuki Bar ice pop has gained deep-rooted popularity in Japan, it is available in many supermarkets and convenience stores around the country. By the way, I bought this one at a 7 Eleven for about 130 yen (about 1.2 USD).