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10 Awesome Japanese Sweets You Didn’t Know Existed

Among many other things, Japan is famous for its food. In fact, some Japanese dishes are probably one of the better-known features of this country. Sometimes, the many amazing (and oftentimes unique) Japanese sweets that populate Japanese culinary culture sometimes go unnoticed.
Like other Japanese dishes, there are a great number of Japanese sweets! Many of these traditional sweets belong exclusively to Japanese tradition and are generally encompassed by the term wagashi. Wagashi refers to typical Japanese confections usually served with a beverage or other dishes. Oftentimes they are created specifically to accompany a specific tea or drink.
While Japanese cuisine is reach of sweets such as cakes, baked goods, and pastries, you’ll find that many of the “very Japanese” sweets are wagashi.
While some of these have found their place on dessert menus abroad, most tend to be available just in Japan. We’ve selected just 10 of the must-try ones for when you visit the country!

1. Senbei and Arare

It's fitting to start talking about Japanese sweets with senbei and arare. These snacks are not only widely popular in Japan, but they have been accompanying people's meals for over 1000 years.
Senbei and arare are crackers you'll find in various shapes and flavors. Senbei is commonly known in the West as 'rice crackers .' They can be found salty, flavored with soy sauce, and even wrapped in nori (Japanese seaweed). But there are dozens of sweet ones, usually served with green tea. The Kansai senbei is made with glutinous rice and tends to be more delicate and lightly seasoned than its Kanto counterpart, which is crunchier and more richly flavored.
Arare is similar to senbei. What really distinguishes the two is the shape. Arare is prepared to resemble snow pellets. They are smaller than senbei, but both snacks share a variety of ways to be prepared. Arare, too, can be salty or sweet. They are one of the preferred snacks accompanying beer, but also (in different varieties) tea and other drinks.
Arare are traditionally consumed during the Hinamatsuri festival (Girls Day in Japan) on May 3. These arare are usually very colorful, ranging from pink to green, white, yellow, brown, and more.

2. Coffee Jelly

Coffee Jelly is perhaps one of the more popular desserts in Japan. It's prepared by mixing sweetened coffee with agar agar, a gelatin made from red algae. The jelly is then served on its own or mixed with various drinks, such as milk, coffee, shakes, or ice cream…

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