- English (United States)
Aruheito is a kind of candy made from sugar and starch syrup, which came from Europe around in the end of 16 century and is often served with Japanese green tea. Aruheido is a long standing candy shop in Sakai, and Sakai is famous for the Japanese tea ceremony. We visited Aruheido to learn how they make candy by hand.
The CEO Mr. Okada used to work for another candy shop for more than 30 years to learn making candy and he always had an ambition to open his own shop that specialized in Aruheito in Sakai, where a variety of confectioneries were first introduced to Japan from Europe.
Mr. Okada was making rose-shaped candies for a gift set the day we visited. He was kneading a big lump of candy (which was really hot!) and tearing them off small pieces. Then he shaped them into flower petals and assembled the rose-shaped candies.
Aruheito has different colors and shapes each season. This Aruheito is totally different from others which are sold at festivals and other shops, which are mainly made from starch syrup. More than 80% of Aruheito is sugar, so it is a candy which maximizes the flavor of sugar.It is necessary to heat the candy base up to very high temperature to make shapes. One of the most famous kinds Aruheito is a ribbon-shaped one for the Japanese tea ceremony.
After boiling down the ingredients to a proper consistency, it is poured onto a marble board to cool it down and then kneaded with wood sticks. When he was quickly and evenly kneading it, his professional skill became evident. The color of candy gradually changed from transparent to milky white. It gets its unique texture by kneading it to allow air inside.
Kneaded candy is then shaped into various forms. Mr. Okada said “we need to keep it hot with a heater since it gets stiff easily. My fingers are almost burnt every time.” He let me touch the candy, but it was too hot to do so. He said he could only make 5 roses at once, so he does other processes in the meantime. It was the first time for us to witness the tough process required to make this candy.
The reason he makes it by hand is that he wants to make delicious candies which his customers can be at ease while eating. The way to make it is similar to the process overseas, but it is not only for looking at it, it is also tasty to eat. This candy is made without artificial food coloring or additives. This handmade rose-shaped candy is a wonderful flower to give to someone you love.
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