Snack Adventures 3: Candy in Taiwan (糖果)

I’ve also had the opportunity to try a variety of candy in Taiwan, as candy is easy to find in various convenience stores, drug stores, and whatnot. The fun thing about candy in Asia, as with any other country, is that one can find all sorts of different flavors that one can’t find in the USA. My sister found lychee mentos in a drug store. A lot of this candy is quite familiar in form — you’ll find things like gummies, caramels, chews, and more. While there are brands from America, like mentos, there are Asia-specific brands, like Morinaga or I-Mei. And while they can be found in Asian supermarkets in America, they are usually really expensive because of import prices.

The picture on the top right is of a fruit gummy in a small assorted pack. The flavors included were mango, grape, and strawberry, although the package was severely lacking in strawberry. In an assorted fruit snack pack in America, you’d probably find things more like grape, strawberry, or apple, while mango flavor (芒果 in 中文) or pineapple flavor would be in the “tropical” pack and would be perhaps rarer. But since mangos are infinitely easier to get, mango candies are found more frequently. Each gummy was individually wrapped, and was molded into a heart shape.

The picture on the right is of a red bean caramel. You’ll find caramels in America, of course, but in red bean flavor? In Taiwan, it’s quite easy to find red bean (紅豆) everything. This particular candy brand, Morinaga, is another popular one in Taiwan and Japan, and they have flavors in milk, regular caramel, red bean, and a few more. I really enjoyed the milk and caramel when I was little and thought I’d try red bean. The red bean flavor kind of hits you on the head when you eat it. My mom loved it, but for me it was an acquired taste. I ate a few more and then the taste grew on me more.

It comes packaged in a nice box that you can slide in and out of an outer casing. The outside color is reflective of flavor (red bean = red, blue = milk, yellow = caramel, etc). Each little square is individually wrapped in a wax paper.

Here is the candy in its wax wrapper.

This candy sells for 12 元 a box in most places, or about a third of a US dollar.

I remember this next one from when I was really small, visiting Taiwan. My relatives would buy it for us to eat, and it came in so many flavors. It’s, again, Morinaga brand. It’s a chewy candy in assorted fruit flavors, and it comes in small assorted rectangular, individually-wrapped candies that are packaged together in a sort of tube. This one’s kiwifruit (奇異果 in 中文). They also have grape, peach, pineapple (sometimes), apple, and more. They even have grape soda and orange soda flavors, although I am less of a fan of these. Probably it has something to do with the fact that I never liked grape soda or orange soda to start with.

Most of the candy comes in ordinary colors that match the flavors. Peach has an orange outside and a white center, while grape is purple and white. Kiwi fruit is speckled more like the real fruit. See below:

It costs about 12 元 each, or about a third of an US dollar.

This last brand is also specific to Taiwan and Japan. I-Mei Foods is one of my uncles’ favorite brands, and they produce candy, crispy snacks, cookies, and other desserts. They also make popsicles and cake now (they make a pretty good boba popsicle, or so I’ve heard). Today, my uncle took us to an I-Mei store. They’re apparently notable for using no artificial flavors or preservatives. My father thought the store was a convenience store for some reason. Oops.

This is a chewy milk candy that also comes in assorted flavors. This one is green tea flavor (綠茶), which is another of those flavors that is pretty popular in Asia. It tastes just like green milk tea (as an aside, I bought a bag of green tea latte packets to take home to drink). It comes individually wrapped in a little square and is sold per bag. I loved this one! My mother bought strawberry, milk, and red bean to take back to America. Each bag is anywhere between 30-35 元, or about a dollar in American money.

Below is a picture of me holding it. This particular one had two squares in it:

Since I’m leaving Taiwan Monday morning, this is probably my last post about Taiwan from in Taiwan, but considering the amount of snacks and other things we are bringing home, there will be more blog posts. I also did a lot of fun things, like visit various restaurants and eat various things. My sushi experience (preview: Sushi Express in Taiwan is NOT the same level of quality as Sushi Expresses in the United States, specifically Rhode Island) as well as my Mongolian BBQ experience are blog posts in themselves. I’ve been meaning to post a blog post just about popsicles. I also had a great coffee experience today… so there’s that.

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