If you want to bring back some treats that are more Japanese than matcha Pocky and Kit Kat, how about Kibidango?! Kibidango (millet dumpling) is a wagashi (Japanese confectionary) made with glutinous rice, syrup, rice syrup, sugar and millet originated in Okayama prefecture. Most Japanese are familiar with kibidango from the folktale Momotaro!
Koeido, the most famous and perhaps the most popular Kibidango seller from Okayama prefecture has announced that their 8 kinds of Kibidango have been halal certified by Japan Islamic Trust. Koeido is an old established confectionary shop found in 1856. After over 150 years from its establishment, they now aims to spread Kibidango to the world with a halal certification.
At the press conference, Mr. Aquir, the representative of Japan Islamic Trust, said that he was touched by the company’s passion and eagerness to share what they believe is delicious with Muslims. When asked by a press how long it took to get the certification, Mr. Ito from Koeido said that it didn’t take much time since Kibidango only uses halal ingredients from the beginning and because the factory already had an entire floor just for the production of Kibidango. Although they don’t have any muslim staff in the company, all employees have taken a course by Halal Japan Business Association to learn about halal and islam to handle the food properly.
Koeido’s kibidango can be purchased only in Okayama or from their online shop at the moment but they are planning to sell them at the airports, train stations and department stores soon. The cute package designed by a famous picture book author, Taro Gomi makes it a great souvenir and gift for all ages.
If you’re curious about the story of Momotaro, check this video from youtube.