|TOKYO, Sep. 17 – A dried sweet potato specialty store called “Hoshiimono Hyakka” has opened in the Kitasenju Marui Department Store in Adachi Ward, Tokyo. It’s a rare establishment that sells only dried sweet potato products in Tokyo, and the store name means “everything you want” in Japanese.
With the current popularity of sweet potatoes, dried sweet potato snacks, or hoshi-imo in Japanese, are also becoming more popular. The shop sells various hoshi-imo products, not only hoshi-imo made of different sorts of sweet potatoes but also hoshi-imo ice cream and puddings, which are already popular among female customers with a sweet tooth.
Approximately 90% of hoshi-imo in Japan are produced in Ibaraki Prefecture. The first and original Hoshiimo Hyakka store is located in Sakai Town, also in Ibaraki, and this store is so popular that people make lines when it opens stalls at sweet potato events. They have hoshi-imo made from 5 to 10 varieties of Ibaraki-made sweet potatoes in season, including famous Beni Haruka and Silk Sweat varieties.
There are three types of hoshi-imo: slices, sticks, and whole pieces. The uncut products are particularly popular as they are dense and filling. The shop recommends traditional sun-dried whole-piece products. It says many manufacturers today have machines for drying sweet potatoes, but those dried in the sun for three weeks taste richer and sweeter.
“They are sweet and creamy and have a nice dumpling-like texture. Please try different kinds and find your favorite pieces,” said the shop manager. A 28-year-old shopper smiled and said, “They are nutritious, healthy, and filling. I love the texture and sweetness.”
“Wagyu Olympics” which judges the excellence of branded cattle from all over Japan took place.
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