Higashi refers to dry sweets containing little moisture. Broadly categorized, they include senbei, which is baked or grilled; okoshi, which is roasted; rakugan, which is pressed and molded; and konpeito, which is heated and coated.
Compared to fresh confections, higashi last longer and serve as casual snacks.
Originally, the likes of boro and konpeito were called nanban-gashi (European sweets) since they were imported from Portugal and Spain in the Muromachi period before transforming into Japanese sweets.
Among these, Kyoto sweets have many variations including those used in tea ceremonies — the city is filled with famous, long-established confectionery shops.
Kneaded and steamed uruchi-mai (non-glutinous rice) flour that’s thinly shaped in a mold, then dried and baked or grilled with soy sauce.
A sweet made from rice starch mixed with syrup that’s poured in a mold and dried. It’s considered one of the three greatest Japanese confections.
A sugarcane sweet from Shikoku. The name means “three trays,” referring to the process of hand-kneading the sugar three times on trays.
Made from glutinous rice, it differs from senbei, which is made form non-glutinous rice. Serves as a perfect light snack.
Beans boiled with sugar and further candied.
Small lumps of starch made by heating the core of granulated sugar while coating with syrup.
Biscuits imported from Portugal. Boro is made by adding egg and sugar to flour, cutting out the shapes and baking.
A Japanese dry fruit that’s peeled skin of shibugaki (astringent persimmons) dried to bring out the sweetness.
Flour dough rolled into long sticks that’s fried, dressed with dark molasses and dried for a crunchy and sweet taste.
A crunchy sweet made from finely grounded grains like rice that’s kneaded and held together with starch syrup.
Dough made from rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Thinly stretched into the shape of a koto (Japanese zither), then baked.
Made from stretched-out sugar and starch syrup. This cylinder-shaped candy shows the face of Kintaro or “Golden Boy,” a folklore hero.