On our last post under current series “Hokkaido”, we introduced one of the most popular Omiyage (お土産, souvenir gift), Shiroi Koibito (白い恋人). Following it, today we introduce other three interesting Omiyage products found in Hokkaido.
In Hokkaido, we can find many attractive Omiyage products every souvenir shop, supermarket, department store etc. They are just only a tiny part of them though.
The first one is “Oranda Senbei” (オランダせんべい) which is a local specialty of Nemuro city(根室).
The word “Oranda” represents “The Netherlands” in Japanese and Senbei means “cracker.” So Oranda Senbei is “Dutch cracker”. It reminds some of you especially those in Europe “waffle” known in the Netherlands’ neighbor Belgium by it. Yes, it is!!
Actually Oranda senbei is considered coming from the Netherlands via Nagasaki, South part in Japan, where international trading was allowed only at its post in Edo period. It’s really amazing that the specialty in a country in Europe had traveled far away to this land of truly Far East, one of the north-most places, Nemuro in Hokkaido. It may take long time but the style remains very similar with the original waffle.
As for the taste, it is rather sweet as cracker. The texture is a bit soft and the taste is better when it is a bit heated. The taste is not so strong and it is also well matched with fruits jam or honey maybe.
We found the sweets shop which has produced Oranda Senbei exclusively for over 40 years. Only a few shops still produce and sell this interesting product but others already stopped or had gone unfortunately.
Shop name: Hashiya Kashiten (端谷菓子店)
Address: 2-11 Chishima-cho, Nemuro-city, Hokkaido
Website (only in Japanese): http://olandasenbei.com
The second interesting Omiyage product is called “Yama Oyaji”.
This is sweet cracker with the icon of a bear holding salmon. The product name Yama Oyaji (Mountain daddy) comes from a bear in this region which walked around freely in mountains. Yama Oyaji is produced by a local sweets producer, Senshuan, who was founded almost a century ago based in Sapporo. It is one of many products made with Hokkaido’s local ingredients by Senshuan.
The taste of Yama Oyaji cracker is rather simple like homemade cookies and is pure made from milk, butter and flour. It is appreciated by many from kids to elder generations and Yama Oyaji has known widely as a souvenir sweets of Hokkaido for long years. However in the era of 21st century, more and more other attractive sweets like Shiroi Koibito, or Rokkatei butter sand, were launched after Yama Oyaji. Now we have less chance to find the sweets cracker which is sold only in limited locations.
Shop Senshuan units are mainly located in Sapporo city including one in Chitose Airport and several are across Hokkaido.
Senshuan (Flagship store)
Address: Nishi 3chome 17, Minami 3Jyo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-city
Website (Japanese only): http://senshuan.co.jp
The last one is a new type of Omiyage sweets which we found in many souvenir shops in Hokkaido.
Hokkaido matrioshka; as we told on our post of Hokkaido introduction, in some parts of Hokkaido, Russian territory is close and less than 50km distance. Respecting and demonstrating friendship to the neighbor country, a sweets box is produced as “Hokkaido Matrioshka”.
The cute package obviously attracts Japanese girls and ladies travelers. Five pieces of small cakes are in a box and those 5 matrioshka dolls hold each different local specialty of Hokkaido.
They are Crock tower in Sapporo, lily of the valley flower, bear (here again like Yama Oyaji), salmon and snowman in my box. Much more variations of Hokkaido specialty such as corn, potato are available and they are different box by box!!
The egg-like shape cake has “sweet-berry honeysuckle” paste in the center and it is coated by white chocolate. Sweet-berry honeysuckle or Hascup(ハスカップ) in Japanese is also Hokkaido’s unique berry fruits like blue berry.
Hokkaido matrioshka is available major souvenir shops across Hokkaido.
Official site of the product maker, Hase Confectionary Company (in Japanese) :
We will continue Hokkaido series post and a few more posts will be uploaded.