【 柿ピー (kakipī) 】spicy rice crackers with peanuts
「柿の種」 (かきのたね) are spicy soy-sauce-flavored rice crackers that are from 新潟県 (Niigata Prefecture). The original 柿の種 was produced by 浪花屋製菓 (Naniwaya Seika), a confectionery manufacturer in Niigata, in 1923.
So why is it called kakinotane? It was an accident that changed everything. One day, the wife of Naniwaya Seika accidentally stepped on the oval rice cracker mold, but Naniwaya Seika continued to use the bent cutter and produced crescent-shaped rice crackers. Soon, one of their customers mentioned how they look like 柿の種 — persimmon seeds — which is how it got its name.
Another confectionery manufacturer in Niigata, 亀田製菓 (Kameda Seika), made a commercial success when it introduced「亀田の柿の種」(Kameda no kakinotane), 柿の種 with ピーナッツ peanuts, in 1966. The peanuts were a perfect balance for the spicy rice crackers.
From its popularity,「柿ピー」(kakipī) for short, became a generic name for the spicy-rice-cracker-peanut combo.
In the States, the Kameda’s 柿の種 are marketed as Kameda Crisps (since “kakinotane” is hard to pronounce).
In 2017, Kameda’s 柿の種 were certified by JAXA as Japanese Space Food.