The colorful sweets spread from Kyoto – Konpeitou –
When you visit Kyoto, you can enjoy not only temples or shrines but also many kinds of original sweets, such as Uji-Matcha or Kyo-Yatsuhashi. They are wide-ranging!!
This time, I would like to introduce about one Japanese sweet, which is spread all over Japan originating from ‘Kyoto’.
Thats the one!!
As some of you might have heard about it, it is Konpeitou. It is a tiny candy in the shape of a star. Plus, they are cute and colorful so that this snack is liked by men and women of all ages.
Is there anyone who has already known about the fact that as I said before ‘Konpeitou is actually spread throughout Japan from Kyoto’?
Let’s review the history of Konpeitou together for those who don’t know about it much!!
Born in Portugal, raised in Kyoto
Konpeitou, standing for an original Portuguese word ‘confeitos’, is brought from Portugal by Jesuit missionaries about 450 years ago. It was in the ‘Azuchi-Momoyama Period’. Back then, this candy was called ‘Nanban-Gashi’, which means Western Snack, and was extraordinarily expensive. For this reason, ordinary people didn’t manage to access to this fascinating snack.
In 1569, Luís Fróis, a Jesuit missionary from Portugal, is supposed to have brought ‘several candles and a flask filled with Konpeitou’ to Kyoto when he visited a feudal warlord Nobunaga Oda who was at Nijo-Castle in Kyoto. A massive sweets junkie, Nobunaga, liked it so much and asked Portuguese to bring much more of it, according to some historians.
However, Konpeitou at that time was not colorful at all, it used to be white. Also, it was more with a rounded configuration instead of having such jags.
While Konpeitou had gradually raised in popularity as time passed by, friendly competition in “Konpeitou making” happened among professionals. As a result, Konpeitou evolved to the present state having various kinds of colors and jags designs like the ones found today. In this way, confeitos, which was born in Portugal, has become the original Japanese style.
For people who loves Konpeitou, what if Nobunaga wasn’t such a sweet tooth, what if Konpeitou wasn’t his favorite? If he wasn’t the way he was , the present Konpeitou wouldn’t have become such a popular snack in Japan!! Don’t you agree??
When you visit Kyoto, why don’t YOU ALL go to Nijo-Castle and try tasting Konpeitou!?