Shirokuma (kakigōri)

Shirokuma (白熊 or しろくま?) is a type of kakigōri, a Japanese dessert made from shaved ice flavored with condensed milk, small colorful mochi, fruits, and sweet bean [usually Azuki bean] paste.

Description

Shirokuma has been very popular in Yamakataya (山形屋) or Mujaki.

Origin of the name

Shirokuma literally means polar-bear in Japanese. There are some views about the origin of the name.

Firstly, there was a cotton shop in Kagoshima city. The shop started to sell kakigōri as its side-business. The kakigōri was flavored with condensed milk. When the owner was thinking of a name for the kakigōri, he noticed the picture of a polar-bear was printed on the labels of the condensed milk's can.

The second theory is that Mujaki, a coffee shop in Kagoshima City, started to sell the kakigōri, put milk-syrup, sanshoku-kanten (colorful agar), yōkan (soft azuki-bean jelly), sweet-beans and fruits. It looked like a polar bear when seen from overhead, so it was named Shirokuma.

Availability

Supermarkets in southern candy store sell Shirokuma as a popular product. It is sold in different types.

Shirokuma can be eaten at Kagoshima Fairs which are held in other prefectures. Shirokuma in cups are sold at convenience stores all over Japan.

How Kagoshima Describes the Shirokuma Treat On Their Website

(from http://www.city.kagoshima.lg.jp/_1010/kanko/tokusanhin/5-2kyodoryori/0006036.html) (todo)

References

  • 天文館むじゃき(Japanese)
  • セイカ食品株式会社:南国白くま(Japanese)
  • http://www.yamakataya.co.jp/ 鹿児島 山形屋 (Japanese)

External links

  • 天文館むじゃき(Japanese)
  • かごしま遊楽館(Japanese)
  • セイカ食品株式会社:南国白くま(Japanese)
  • http://www.yamakataya.co.jp/ 鹿児島 山形屋 (Japanese)ja:白熊
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