Togarashi no Tane vs Kaki no Tane: Japanese rice crackers
“Togarashi (唐辛子, とうがらし)” is the Japanese word for chili peppers and the quintessential Japanese condiment using Togarashi is “Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子)” whose first ingredient is ground red chili pepper, which is blended with other 6 aromatic spices.
In Japan as well as other countries, Togarashi or chili peppers are often used in snacks and the popular Japanese treats using Togarashi include “Kaki no Tane (柿の種)” and “Togarashi no Tane (とうがらしの種)”.
Togarashi no Tane vs Kaki no Tane: Spicy Japanese Rice Crackers
Kaki no Tane and Togarashi no Tane are both spicy rice crackers produced and sold by Japanese confectionery companies whose head offices are both in Niigata Prefecture where I live.
Kaki no Tane is an orange-colored crescent-shaped rice cracker invented by “Naniwaya Seika (浪花屋製菓)”, a confectionery maker headquartered in the city of Nagaoka, and was debuted in 1925.
Today, Kaki no Tane has become one of the most famous rice crackers in Japan, and many food companies are producing it. Kaki no Tane is also known as “Kakipi (柿ピー)” or “Kameda Crisps”.
On the other hand, the rice cracker Togarashi no Tane was first created by “Minagawa Seika (みながわ製菓)”, a Joetsu-based confectionery company that went bankrupt in 2016, and was introduced into the market in 1986.
Now, “Echigo Seika (越後製菓)”, a confectionery maker headquartered in Nagaoka, possesses the trademark and produces and sells the rice crackers.
“Kaki no Tane (柿の種)” literally means “persimmon’s seed”; “Kaki (柿)” is the Japanese word for “persimmon”, while “Tane (種)” means “seed”, and the color and shape of the snack is kind of associated with persimmon seeds.
As you can tell by now, “Togarashi no Tane (とうがらしの種)” literally means “seeds of chili peppers”. In fact, as shown in the photo above, the Togarashi no Tane rice crackers have gobs of red chili powder on the surface.
As for the taste, Kaki no Tane has the perfect balance between savory and spice. It only has mild heat.
In contrast, as its name and appearance claim, Togarashi no Tane uses lots of red chili peppers and is quite hot and spicy. But to me, this one is more addictive than Kaki no Tane.
Lastly, let’s check the ingredients. According to the official website of Naniwaya Seika Confectionery, the Kaki no Tane rice cracker is made from Mochi-Gome glutinous rice, non-glutinous rice, starch, soy sauce, starch decomposition product, salt, reduced starch syrup, flavoring, red chili pepper, processed starch, seasoning (including amino acids), caramel pigment, monascus color, paprika pigment, and emulsifier.
Meanwhile, based on the ingredient list pictured above, the Echigo Seika Togarashi no Tane rice cracker consists of Uruchi-Mai non-glutinous rice, soy sauce, chili seasoning, vegetable oil, red chili pepper, sugar, powdered chicken extract, flavoring (bonito), seasoning (including amino acids), colors (monascus, carotenoid), acidifier, and spice extract.