An Inquiry As to The Nature of Lemon Candy
by Jonathan Rubin
This article is about, ostensibly, lemon candy: tart, yet sweet, both hard and soft, and hopefully sour enough to pucker your face for minutes, if not hours. But what can we really say when we talk about lemon candy? Is it about ourselves, our loves, our universe? For me lemon candy represents that unattainable ideal, a goal: ultimate insane sourness, pure acid hell. For that my friends is good lemon candy.
When the editor of this esteemed journal sent me a selection of six lemon candies from Japan-all previously unseen by me here in the U.S.-I could not withhold my glee. Here before me lay a half-dozen untasted treats. Over the past weeks I have gradually consumed each and every one, noting the flavor, the texture and, ultimately, the acidulousness of each. What follows are my results.
Fujiya Lemon Squash ( 不二家 レモンスカッシュキャンディ)
Surely the winner of the judges choice award. this candy offered a multitude of taste treats. It began with a rather tasty lemon shell, and then, just as my interest began to wane, filled my mouth with a Zotz-like acid power explosion-what tasted like a combination of lemon, sugar and vanilla. Although not the most sour of the samples, Fujiya Lemon Squash was certainly the best overall.
[Sourness Factor: 5]
The Lemon C-3000
This was a basic, generic barrel-shaped lemon hard candy, not very sour but pleasantly sweet. It’s name implied a high vitamin C content, but could it really have 3000mg? It seems like a lot. An old standby, this candy was nuttin’ special.
[Sourness Factor: 3]
VC 3000 (VC-3000のど飴)
What really struck me about VC-3000 was it’s unusual texture. Very hard and somewhat chalkish, it was a far cry from the standard, mundane hard candy (see The LemonC-3000). It had a pleasant taste and good overall sourness.
[Sourness Factor 5]
Ribon Nama Shio（リボン 生塩飴）
Arriving in its cool glassine package, Ribon also had a surprise concealed within: a gummy sticky mess. However, I did enjoy the general taste of this candy and perhaps found the stickiness of it more intriguing than annoying. This also appeared to have some vitamin C, as there was a large “C” nestled amidst the small Japanese text on the package.
[Sourness Factor: 3]
HiChew Super Lemon (ハイチュウ スーパーレモン)
An interesting and enjoyable little candy, chewy like a Starburst or Mambo. HiChew had a lovely smooth texture and a good taste. Like all chewy candy, I found it to be rather addictive and was very tempted to eat the whole package at once. However, I did manage to control my impulses.
[Sourness Factor: 4]
Shige Kix (シゲキックス)
Small pellet-like and viciously sour, these little devils seemed to coated with pure uncut acetic acid. They were extremely chewy (not recommended for denture wearers). However, as the acid quickly wore off I was left with a tasteless nugget to gnaw on for nearly a minute.
[Sourness Factor: 10]