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Jabba the Hutt Amezaiku Candy (Traditional Japanese Candy Sculpture)

May 31, 2012

My family and I are in Japan at the moment, and stopped by a place where someone was doing amezaiku — traditional Japanese candy sculptures. He had a number of different things available for sale, like animals and popular cartoon characters, but he would also make just about anything you requested. I naturally decided to have him make me a Jabba.

The process involves taking hot blobs of melted sugar taffy and shaping them by hand and with various tools (including an air pump to pump them up like a balloon in some cases). They also add some edible dyes to color the taffy, which is naturally just a sort of translucent white color. I showed him a picture of Jabba on my phone and he got to work making what you see below. I don’t think he had ever seen Jabba before, so he turned out a bit more aquatic looking than usual, but I think it’s pretty impressive. It took less than 5 minutes to make. He also made my son an “Angry Bird” and gave us a beautiful rainbow-colored dinosaur. He said he had been making Amezaiku for 40 years. It’s a bit of a dying art even in Japan, but there are some young people getting trained how to do it.

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