|Kumanon yuzu chews on the right. I also bought some sour ramune candy balls by UHA and they were tasty too!|
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus that is native to East Asia that is a hybrid of sour mandarin and ichang papeda. It is resembles a small yellow grapefruit / funny looking lemon, but can grow quite large. The flavour is bitter, kind of like grapefruit, but with a hint of orange. It is also an ingredient finding more and more use in western kitchens. A unique sweet version of this fruit was native to Japan and was endangered at one point. This variety is now being cultivated in southern Kyushu and other locations.
|Kumamon Yuzu Puccho Chews|
The packages of yuzu chews came with bonus this time as a little cellphone charm of the Kumamon Bear from Kumamoto Prefecture was included. The charms are sealed in a box so it is a random draw for which one you get, but I ended up with two pretty good ones.
The Kumamon Bear is a pretty popular mascot character created in 2010 by the province to promote the area after the Kyushu Shinkansen (bullet train) line was opened. The area has several national parks and Kumanon has appeared as a stuffy, souvenirs, toys, etc. Japan has many popular mascot characters as it is the land of kawaii (cute), and one of these days I'll post more about them, but for now, here are some links. I also really like the little chick mascot used for Nissin Chicken Ramen.