Where to begin! Japan has a vibrant cultural heritage dating back thousands of years, and food and drink are a major part of the Japanese identity. In fact, many families have been running the same food shops and sake breweries for centuries; one mochi shop in Kyoto is over 1,000 years old! With such an expansive and rich culinary history, there is a lot to get into when it comes to Japanese food and beverage. Americans, of course, know about sushi and sashimi, but there is so much more to learn about!
Japanese Street Food
Many countries have bustling bazaars and street food scenes, and Japan ranks right up there with the best of them. Internationally, the most famous Japanese street food is ramen noodles, which everyone from school kids to prominent business people happily devour. Another ubiquitous Japanese street food is called takoyaki, fried octopus balls topped with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, and bonito tuna flakes. In general, many Japanese meals are served with small side dishes of pickled vegetables, such as pickled plums and radishes. Vinegar — especially rice vinegar — is prominent in Japanese cuisine.
Japanese Candy & Snacks
The Japanese also have a major sweet tooth, and probably the best brightly colored packaging in the world to sell their kawaii (cute) treats. Major Japanese candy brands* include Glico Pocky, Meiji, and Kasugai, producing chocolate-covered biscuit sticks, chocolate-filled panda cookies, and flavorful fruit gummies. There are also many flavors that are particular to Japan, like matcha green tea and yuzu fruit. Rice crackers, seaweed, and shrimp chips are also incredibly popular Japanese snacks.
Where can I buy Japanese food?
Supermarket Italy offers a range of imported foods from all over the world, including Japan. Find Sea Vegetable Seasoning by Eden, Matcha Green Tea Pocky Sticks, fruit Hi-Chew, and ready-made S&B curry sauce (the Japanese love their curry!). You’ll also find 100% Yuzu Juice by Yakami Orchard, which is excellent for infusing citrus flavor into cocktails and baking recipes. Don’t forget to wash all of this delicious Japanese food down with Ito En green tea, Japan’s #1 green tea brand! Buying Japanese food online and getting it delivered is easy with Supermarket Italy’s international grocery store.
*Note: Some Japanese candy and snack brands have production facilities in other countries, like Thailand, USA, or Taiwan.