Oyatsu Surume: A Classic Dagashi Squid Snack for Kids
Japan has many varieties of squid snacks compared to other countries, and many of those are meant to eat as “Otsumami (おつまみ)” or a food accompaniment for alcoholic drinks, such as Sake, Shochu, and beer.
If I give a representative example of such squid Otsumami snacks, what comes to my mind first is “Surume (するめ)”.
Surume is a Japanese snack food typically made out of the squid species “Surume Ika (スルメイカ)” that has been gutted and dried under the sun, and prior to eating, the dried squid needs to be toasted and shredded by hand.
Many Japanese adults like to eat those Surume squid strips, dipping in mayonnaise with Shichimi Togarashi, while drinking. The dried squid, Surume usually has a hard, tough texture, so the shreds are not suitable for children.
Oyatsu Surume (おやつするめ)
However, Surume is actually available in kid versions too, and this classic Dagashi snack “Oyatsu Surume (おやつするめ)” is the best known, only costs 30 yen (about 0.3 USD). Unlike normal Surume squid, it is so cheap that children can buy it even with their small pocket money.
Besides, these dried squid strips are thinner, much easier to eat than normal Surume squid. Since they are seasoned with sugar and salt, they are eaten as they are. These Surume shreds look like fine noodles, so I think they are a kind of Surume Somen.
Oyatsu Surume is a simple dried squid snack, but the more you chew it, the tastier it becomes. With this Dagashi snack, children living in Japan can feel like an adult, while drinking a soft drink like Namaiki Beer.