World's Strangest Candy
Courtesy of Toraya Confectionery Co.Ltd.
What it is: Nothings says indulgence like yams and bean paste—at least in Japan. These candies go back to ancient times, beginning with a legend about an emperor’s aide who committed suicide after failing to deliver a royal snack. Today the treats don’t look like any kind of candy, for the most part, but rather like sushi, or even rubber erasers.
How it tastes: Mildly sweet, usually; traditional Yokan wagashi has a jellied consistency.
Where to get it: Confectionary Toraya, with boutiques in Tokyo, Kyoto, and even a few counters in New York City and Paris. The boutiques’ spartan displays under glass counters make them look like jewelry stores, but a tiny box of jellied red-bean Yokan costs only a few dollars.