「うまい棒」 (Umaibo)


【 うまい棒 (umaibō) 】”Umaibo” by Yaokin

Have you ever had the サクサク puffy corn puff snack that looks like a ちくわ (tube-shaped fish cake stick in おでん)? The cylindrical snack also has a hole in the center like a ちくわ, which makes it extra サクサク.

This year, “Umaibo” is forty years old. It was launched in 1979, the same year that ドラえもん was first animated.

And it’s been sold for 10円 (ten yen) for forty years. No matter how much the economic environment has changed over the years, the producers wanted to keep it at ten yen so that kids can buy a snack, a snack that they can choose and enjoy with their own allowance.

うまい棒 has long-selling classic flavors like ソース味 (the very first flavor), コーンポタージュ味 (corn soup), and めんたい味 (めんたいこ spicy cod roe) to quirky flavors like なっとう味 (natto) and やきとり味 (yakitori).

Kids love them, but even grownups continue to enjoy them as おつまみ (otsumami) a snack with their beer or drink.

The one drawback with this puffy snack is that it’s not bite-size, so you end up with sticky fingers and crumbs all over, but did you know that there is a crumb-free way of eating a うまい棒?

1. First, place the うまい棒 on the table.

2. Place your hand flat over the package (middle finger aligned with the うまい棒).

3. Press down as you would give a heart massage and stop when you hear the うまい棒 break inside.

4. Open the wrapper, and you have a うまい棒 split lengthwise in four!

You can check the illustrated instruction here.

Now let’s go get a うまい棒 and try!
(Or when you visit Japan, you can grab one at a コンビニ!)

Resources: Umaibo Sitearticle on how to eat an Umaibo (Japanese)