Konpeitou are candies made in Kyoto, Japan.
They are small balls made of sugar about the size of a finger tip. Some describe them as star-shaped, but they are more like small mines, with sugar spikes on them. At the core is a roasted rice kernel.
To make Konpeitou, the rice kernels are put in a turnable pot, and slowly covered with syrup over a period of 10 to 30 days, allowing layer after layer of syrup to build up, about 1 mm a day. Spikes will start appearing about the 5th day.
Artificial colourings are added to the syrup, typically green, pink, white and yellow.
The flavours are very wide ranging including cider, cinnamon, coffee, cola, green tee, maple, vanilla, and even red wine.
Konpeitou are usually sold in bags, and are packed and sold in special boxes for the china doll festival each year in Japan.
The lid of the box is a 3-D representation of a ceremonial hat. The box includes a small royal couple of Hina-Ningyo dolls.
Konpeitou are also given to guests at wedding receptions.
Konpeitou is a form of Higashi.Nutrition FactsPer 7 candiesAmountCalories110Fat9 gSugars27 g
7 candies will weigh about 30 grams.
Konpeitou started being made in the mid-1500s, perhaps inspired by Portuguese candy.
“Konpeitou” is the Japanese transliteration of the Portuguese word, “confeito”, meaning “confections” or “candy.”
Sometimes transliterated into English as “Konpeito”, without the “u” at the end.