Our Unique Kanabo
The name of this snack is UmaiOhkanabou (literally, delicious iron rod), a puffy snack made out of corn. This particular one offers the flavor of the Genghis Khan, a famous grilled mutton and vegetable dish that is a specialty of Hokkaido.
Many people would think at first glance that this was a sweet for children. It looks exactly like a favorite sweet treat adored by children everywhere in Japan, but the taste is a little bit different! The texture is light and crunchy, but the flavor is savory.
This UmaiOhkanabo is sold in our gift shop, Yunomachi, and we came up with this particular version of this favorite snack with the help of Fujiya Honten. (They help us choose and develop the items for sale in our shop.) I recently spoke to Hayashi-san, the person in charge of product development at their company headquarters, to find out how this particular treat came to be.
Dai-ichi Takimotokan: How did you start developing this product?
Hayashi-san: We started working on it last year in November. In fact, the manufacturer asked me if I had thought about making snacks based on local flavors with special packaging. Then I talked to your gift shop manager. They were intrigued by this idea, so development on the new product began.
Dai-ichi Takimotokan: It must have taken awhile. It was only released in July of this year.
Hayashi-san: It took some time to get everything absolutely right. I really wanted to capture that unique essence of Hokkaido and Noboribetsu. It came down to three different flavors – Genghis Khan, Yakisoba, and hot pepper. However, we finally chose Genghis Khan as the real taste of this part of Hokkaido. The spiciness of the hot pepper made us think of the heat of Noboribetsu Onsen, but we thought it might be too strong for children. The packaging of Takimaru-kun and the Ohkanabo (large iron rod) was the idea of the chief shop manager, Utagawa-san. You’ll see that Takimaru-kun has this snack in his right hand.
Dai-ichi Takimotkan: Indeed, we can really tell how much you enjoyed making this project. Thank you very much!
This snack is available right now, and our visitors can purchase 30 of them for just 864 yen!
Yes, this amount! (I want to thank Umekawa-san of our front desk staff for helping with this photo in between tasks.) Three rows of ten in total, which makes for a most impressive volume. We think it is a tasty souvenir that would be perfect to share with friends at school, work, or anywhere. Please give them a try!