Owing to a tropical climate and plenty of exposure to the sea, Okinawa proves to be a great place to grow fruit in Japan. Some of the tastiest and most colorful produce found anywhere on the archipelago comes from the southernmost islands, ranging from sour offerings to sweeter snacks. All of them are great to eat on their own — but they work just as well when transformed into candy or other eats. Luckily, many great examples pop up in Wowbox’s February Omiyage Box and the Tabi Box.
The Right Conditions For Great Taste
Okinawa is one of the best places in Japan to grow a wide variety of fruit. That’s because of the tropical climate, which allows for a more diverse set of produce to flourish. Highlights include pineapple, with Okinawa producing the most pineapples in all of Japan, along with the sour shikuwasa and the sweeter mango. Let’s take a closer look at each...and specifically how they get transformed into food and drink to be enjoyed all over the world.
Shikuwasa - Sour But So Nice
The shikuwasa is somewhere between a tangerine and a lime (sometimes referred to as “Okinawan Lime”), boasting plenty of sourness but a unique flavor separate from other citrus. It looks very similar to calamansi, which they are close family but strictly speaking are different, but with more intense sour flavor than calamansi. If you like calamansi, then you should definitely give shikuwasa a try!
Shikuwasa is a popular choice for drinks across Japan, and has also become a go-to taste for snacks. You can find some great examples of this in our line-up of boxes in February.
Tabi Box: Shikuwasa Flavor Fried Peanuts Mochi Chips
In the Tabi Box, we’ve included shikuwasa-flavored fried peanut chips. Crushed peanuts are kneaded into a plump steamed mochi dough, and later fried into a crispy and light textured chips!
A perfect balance of peanut aroma and saltiness. It combine a crispy chew with a nice citrus taste in every piece.
Get yours in Tabi Box by 2/28!
Omiyage Box: Shikuwasa Gummies
Over in the Omiyage Box, you can enjoy shikuwasa gummies featuring a nice burst of sour shikuwasa juice in each popping juicy gummy!
Omiyage Box: Shikuwasa Jagabee
Try out a limited-edition potato chip only found in Okinawa featuring the famous citrus taste. It’s tasty and rare!
Jagabee chips has a crispy and thick cut, and you can enjoy the refreshing aroma and sourness of Okinawa Prefecture Shikuwasa and Ishigaki salt combined. It is a delicious chips that you will devour within minutes.
Okinawa Mango - A Pacific Treat
The sweet Okinawa mango is famous and quite pricy in Japan; one can cost more than 10,000 yen. Okinawa mangoes are mostly produced on the main islands of Okinawa, Miyako Island and Ishigaki Island. The fruit is round and has a bright purple-red color like an apple, so it is also called "apple mango."
You can smell the sweet smell of the Okinawa mango before you cut it. The ripe mango pulp is soft and juicy, and the sugar content is extremely high. A bite of the strong sweetness will make you go to heaven.
Omiyage Box: Hi-Chew Okinawa Mango
One of Japan’s most celebrated candy brands, Hi-Chew, produced a special Okinawan Mango variety only found on the islands themselves. Well, there and in our February Omiyage Box. Get in on it during our special Okinawan month, and you can experience this scarce delight from the comfort of your own home.
Tankan - An Unheralded But Memorable Fruit
Here’s one we haven’t touched on yet. Tankan is another type of citrus found in the southern part of Okinawa. Unlike the green shikuwasa, the tankan (also sometimes dubbed the southern mandarin orange) features an orange exterior and a rich sweetness with a slight sourness that makes it standout from the crowded Okinawan fruits ranks. The positives don’t stop there — it’s also rich in vitamin C, so it also helps boost immunity and just generally promotes better health for eaters.
Tabi Box: Tankan Omoro Cake
There’s other ways the taste of the tankan fruit can be applied to foods from Okinawan. While not as commonly deployed as the fruits above and below, the tankan does show up in sweets, including in one included in Wowbox’s February Tabi Box.
The Tankan Omoro is a puff pastry featuring a cream in the center, highlighting the sweet citrusy taste of the tankan in all its glory.
Okinawa Pineapple - Prevalent And Charming
Okinawa produces no fruit more than pineapple. The spiky offering is a staple in the region, and Okinawan harvesters farm and export the most pineapples to the rest of Japan than any other prefecture. As you’d expect, pineapple is a prominent ingredient in Okinawa cuisine and desserts.
Omiyage Box: Bireley Pineapple Drink
Our February Omiyage Box, celebrating the sweet side of Okinawa, fittingly highlights two pineapple treats. One is a juice beverage produced by Okinawan company Bireley, which takes pineapples grown on Ishigaki Island and transforms them into an additive-free juice.
Omiyage Box: Glico Collon Okinawa Limited Pineapple Flavor
You can use that to wash down the Okinawa Pineapple Collon, a cream filled biscuit roll featuring a tart pineapple taste.
Want to taste these Okinawa limited pineapple flavors? Get your Omiyage Box by Feb 28 now!
Curious? Taste Them All
Okinawa produces all kinds of wonderful fruits, and during our month celebrating the islands, you can get a taste of some of the best. Wondering how they taste like? Remember to subscribe to Tabi Box or Omiyage Box by Feb 28 to try it yourself!
Additionally, we are having Bonus Snack Campaign that you can enjoy up to $10 OFF + Limited Kyoto treats! Only first 100 new subscribers can get the bonus snack, so act fast before it's gone!
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