Today is Karintō Day

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Today celebrates karintō 花林糖, a traditional fried sweet made from wheat flour, yeast and sugar. It’s origins go back to the Nara Era (710-784) when Chinese envoys brought over a fried sweet that was enjoyed by the upper classes in Nara. But there is another theory that the sweet actually came to Japan with the Portuguese and Spanish in the Muromachi Era (1336-1573). At any rate, it has remained to this day as a popular simple sweet that is reminiscent of old-fashioned treats sold at festivals and street stalls.

Located about ten minutes walk south from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine or north-east from JR Enmachi Station, down one of those typical backstreets that makes walking around Kyoto such a joy, there is a 100-year-old machiya store called Amenbodō あめんぼ堂, that sells only karintō, but with an amazing array of flavors, both traditional and contemporary.

From left: Vegetable, Sweet Potato, ‘Snow’ (sugared white soy sauce), Salt
From left: Kinako, Black Sugar, Zarame Sugar, Sugared Umeboshi
From left: Shiso Sugar, Sesame, Sesame & Black Sugar, Peanut
From left: Coffee, Salted Caramel, Cocoa, Wasabi
From left: Spicy Yuzu, Japanese Pepper, Spring Onion & Miso, Honey Matcha
From left: Tomato Basil, Cheese, Onion

Amenbodō
Open every day 10am to 6pm

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