Dirt cheap “dagashi” from Japan: Ninjin (part 4)

Continuing our series on super cheap "dagashi" candy, today we explore a new, particularly peculiar candy called Ninijn. Ninjin means carrot, and it's not hard to see why this candy derives its name from the pointy, elongated root.

Oh! Indeed, it's shaped like a giant carrot, only instead of growing from the ground, it's a plastic-packaged cylinder filled with some sort of mysterious small pellet. Let's open one up and see what's inside.

That's unexpected! You would think those pebble-like balls inside would also be orange. You would also expect them to have some relation to the carotene-filled vegetable their name inspires. Not this time, though. Nope— these "carrots" are made of rice. It's more or less the same puffed-rice that is a staple of breakfast cereals around the world, only this time it's slightly sweeter.

So a carrot-themed candy that's actually made of rice. What gives? Well, it's hard to expect much branding consistency when we're dealing with "dagashi." Each of these Ninjin's only costs a few cents to make, and not much more to buy. At such low cost, we'll gladly forgive the discrepancy and get to enjoying this strange little candy. Bon appetit!