Friday, August 5, 2011
Kabaya is a large-sized candy maker not too well known outside of Japan. Even domestically their brands are not so well advertised or promoted as compared to the likes of Glico's Pocky or Morinaga's Hi Chew. If you visit Japan you may have trouble finding their full line of candy products as many stores do not give them much shelf space, especially convenience stores. Not to worry though as napaJapan will give you the opportunity to purchase their popular products.
What I like about Kabaya is that they offer very original products. Guimauve is one of these. The traditional gummy is known as a smooth, translucent, specifically shaped morsel with a consistent chewiness often flavored in grape, cherry, apple, cola, or strawberry. The Guimauve gummy is best described as a dense, cubed marshmallow. A perfect name since it happens to be the French word for marshmallow.
When I opened the resealable foil pouch for the first time a sweet and fruity tropical breeze rushed up my nose. It was almost overwhelming and had kind of a sickly sweet fragrance. Most of the 14 cubes (half orange colored mango and half yellow pineapple) were perfectly shaped with 1.5 cm sides. There was no powdery residue on the surface however they did leave an slight oily stain on a piece of paper when left sitting for over a minute. These cubes are much harder than a marshmallow on the outside but can be easily stretched and re-shaped.
A handful of the fruity gummy cubes
Biting into them reminded me of a cross between meringue and a camp-fire roasted marshmallow (without the heat.) The center of each cube is softer than the outer skin. The pineapple flavor hit me right away and was so strong that it left an aftertaste in my mouth for some time. The mango was milder and seemed to even have a pineapple taste. Perhaps I didn't clean my palate well enough or there was some cross-flavor-exchange going on inside the sealed bag. I preferred the mango over the pineapple but the real exciting aspect for me was the texture.
These gummy candies are fun to eat and popular with children. Guimauve has been released in a variety of flavors over the past two years including: Yogurt, Strawberry, Lemon, Red Grape, and Green Grape. This most recent flavor duo offering is my favorite of the lot. The only negative I came across was that they don't suit any other food or beverage. Chocolate is great with coffee or milk. Chips and crisps suit beer or soda. Maybe I will try to roast them on the camp fire this summer. Let me know if you have an interesting match for Guimauve or if you prefer them straight up.