Japan has lots of crazy snacks, from DIY Japanese candy that changes color to more traditional snacks like dried squid. But would you ever try a Japanese snack made with eel?! That can’t possibly be good right?
Between Tokyo and Kyoto, is the overlooked region of Hamamatsu. Although not as big or as famous as other areas of Japan, Hamamatsu is home to many iconic Japanese companies like Honda and Yamaha. Hamamatsu is also famous for its eels. The eels caught in the local Hamana Lake are considered to be the best in the world.
Eel is a delicacy in Japan and can be eaten in many different ways. You can grill it, smoke it, dry it, fry it, make it into a sushi…the possibilities are endless. But who would have thought to put eel in a sweet Japanese snack?
Shunkado, was founded in 1887 and was known for making some of the best traditional wagashi snacks in Japan. But it was in 1961, when they started to make cookies infused with eel, that the snack maker really took off. Today these unagi cookies have become known as ‘Unagi Pies’ and are still made by hand in the same way they have been for over half a century.
The packaging is pretty standard by Japanese snack terms. Each unagi pie is individually packaged and laid out nicely in the box. There was also a pamphlet with a cute comic showing how the unagi pies are made. On the box, it says “A snack for nights” but I have no clue why it says that. It’s definitely good to nibble on as a late night snack, but why they made that their slogan, I don’t know.
So you must be wondering, is it any good?
YES! It’s super delicious. It doesn’t smell or taste like eel at all. It does look a little bit like an eel because it’s rolled out into a long cookie. The Unagi Pie smells heavenly from the moment you open the package. Imagine the smell of a bakery, cooking cakes in their ovens. That’s what the Unagi Pie smells like. The cookie itself is delicate and perfectly crispy. The folds in the cookies along with the granulated sugar, gives it a slightly rough texture. They also have the perfect amount of sweetness. Seriously, this cookie is really good!
TLDR:Everyone will love this cookie. It doesn’t smell or taste like eel at all. It’s no wonder that the Unagi Pie is one of the most popular snacks in Japan.
If you ever get a chance to visit Hamamatsu, be sure to visit their factory. There you can see how the cookies are made. After the factory tour, you can relax in the café and enjoy freshly made Unagi Pie dishes.
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