Koume plum-flavoured sweets are one of my favourite Japanese treats. The little round boiled sweets with a gooey sour ume centre have an unusual flavour compered to the confectionary flavours that we are used to here in the west but I think they are delicious. Maybe you've tried them. But did you also know that Koume-chan, the sweets' mascot, has four friends each with their own seasonal flavour?
Though original plum-favoured Koume are available all year round Lotte also created limited-release, seasonal variations of the sweets each with their own mascot character:
The celebration of the changing seasons through food is a popular practice in Japan. Traditionally it would entail eating and cooking with seasonal ingredients to show a sophisticated knowledge and appreciation of nature. Today the practice continues through the limited release of special seasonal flavour varieties of popular sweets and other foods such as Koume, Kit Kat and Haagen Dazs ice creams.
This post has been submitted to J-Festa August 2011 for the theme 'Food in Japan'.