Potato acreage in Hokkaido accounts for over 60% of the total potato acreage in Japan. Hokkaido potatoes are rich in vitamin C and potassium as well as farina, and are most tasty when grilled, boiled or fried. A must-try snack recommended by travellers to Hokkaido is age-imo, deep fried potatoes. Deep fried sweet potatoes are common in Asia, but deep fried potatoes are not as common. The soft steaming hot potato is simple, but delicious. Other than age-imo, potatoes from Hokkaido are also used to make shochu, a Japanese spirit and of course, potato chips!
Every visitor to Japan is no stranger to this popular omiyage. Carefully selected Hokkaido potatoes are processed via a unique method with the skin on to retain the original flavor of the potatoes. This allows for a crunchy texture which makes a perfect combination with the specially roasted salt from Lake Saroma in the prefecture of Okhotsk.
Did you know? ‘Pirika’ means cute in Ainu (the language of Ainu, indigenous people of Japan and Russia). These multi-colored diced potatoes are not genetically modified – they are merely different varieties namely Northern Ruby, Kita Murasaki and Toyoshiro. Northern Ruby potatoes are a beautiful pink and Kita Murasaki bright purple. All these three potatoes are special in that they don’t discolor even after cooking in oil.
Imoko & Kobutaro
Imo-ko (Mister Potato) are potato crisps that are slow-fried at a low temperature, creating a light and crispy snack that is not oily. These chips are also lightly coated with scallop powder, making you want more. Kobu-taro (Mister Kelp) are crunchy bite-sized Hokkaido kelp pieces.
Imo & Mame
Imo & Mame is the latest addition to the Potato Farm series of potato chips. Using edamame (immature soybeans) from the prefecture of Tokachi in Hokkaido, they undergo a freeze-drying process that makes them crunchy. Potato Farm comes up with more ways for us to enjoy our potatoes: these crisps are of course made from frying Hokkaido potatoes at a low temperature, and are seasoned with Hokkaido Marudai soy sauce – made from 100% luxury Hokkaido-grown soy beans. Its flavourful taste and light texture makes you want to eat more! Hint hint, this souvenir is the perfect snack alongside some beer.
A slightly different offering from the regular potato and salt chips, Jaga J is the result of a collaboration between curry chain restaurant YOSHIMI and Potato Farm. These potato chips are crinkle cut for maximum surface area for maximum enjoyment of the special spice blend unique to YOSHIMI. The curry spice blend makes these chips soo addictive you just want to come back for more!
A simultaneous release with Osatsu Hokkori, these thickly cut chips are made from regular potatoes. Also exclusively available in Kyushu, the skin of these potatoes are left on and fried with a secret Calbee-only method! The result is a firm and crunchy potato chip. On top of that, these thick cut chips are seasoned well with salt from the clear sea waters of Gotonada in Nagasaki Prefecture.
What sets the Hokkori range apart from the Potato Farm range is that these omiyage are exclusively available in the region of Kyushu. Osatsu (sweet potato) Hokkori use 100% Anno potatoes from Tanegashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture. It’s relatively healthy, as it is not even flavoured with salt. The underlying sweetness from the high quality sweet potatoes makes it the perfect snack for even children.
These may be a wonderful alternative to a Christmas gift to your friends and family who may not have a sweet tooth. Wonderful and healthy snacks that can be enjoyed by even the young and the old. Be sure to check out the online store catalogue for the full range of Calbee and Potato Farm items we carry. Stocks are extremely limited so order now if you don’t want to miss it!