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Creamy Caramels by MA-SAN MICHEL will Melt in Your Mouth.
post : 2019.02.28 10:00
Kokusai Street at the center of Naha City is always bustling with tourists anytime you go, and is one of the exciting areas of Okinawa. It’s not surprising because the area has shop after shop of all sizes offering local gifts and souvenirs.
The turnover of shops are fast and constant, with a new one appearing out of the blue next to long-established shops and others, and that’s one of the reasons why people are attracted to the area. When going there for the first time in a month or so, you’re sure to find a new and unexpected shop. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to one of those shops, the MA-SAN MICHEL, that surprised me in a good way when I discovered their collaboration of Okinawa and creamy caramels.
The cute shop has a peppermint green theme, and as soon as took a step into the shop, I immediately reached for free samples, as I’m very proud to have sweet tooth. I un-twirled the wrapping and found a shiny, yellowish-brown caramel and when I squeezed it with my fingers, it was pleasantly soft. As soon as I popped it in my mouth, a deep sweetness spread on my palate.
The shop staff said that the it all started when the owner was on a trip to France and encountered a piece of caramel that left a very strong impression. The owner and associates decided to use Okinawan ingredients to create a unique caramel so that visitors to Okinawa can experience that same moving experience the owner felt while traveling.
Five of them gathered at a small studio on the coast of Onna Village after their day jobs, and spent about a year producing trials until they finally perfected their creation that we see today.
The proprietor, Sugama-san reflected on those days of development and said, “The moment you put it in your mouth, it immediately melts away, and something about that is nostalgic but also new at the same time. That’s our creamy caramel, and we’re very proud of it. When a person tastes something delicious, then they feel happy. I think the word ‘Oishii (delicious)’ is a magic spell that makes people happy.” In the shop name, by the way, is MA-SAN which means “delicious” in the Okinawan language.
They have five varieties of deliciousness in all. The Plain Caramel is made with their own recipe and methods and has a texture and taste that you won’t forget after one piece. Their Brown Sugar Caramel is made with sugarcane grown in Okinawa, and the Salt Caramel has a sophisticated touch of saltiness from the natural salt made in Chatan. The flavorful mangoes in the Mango Caramel are grown in Ogimi Village, and last but not least of the tropical flavors is the Coconut Caramel with a wonderful aroma.
The creamy caramel from MA-SAN MICHEL have a shelf life of about a month at room temperature. Because they’re very soft, they’re great when you chill them in the fridge before you enjoy them on days with temperatures over 25 degrees Celsius.
By order of photos above, the merchandise from MA-SAN MICHEL: Assorted Soft Caramels (25 pcs), Soft Caramels (20 pcs), Soft Caramels (10 pcs), Soft Caramels (5 pcs), Cream Caramel 100g, and Cream Caramel 35g.
Kokusai Street Branch
3-29-70 Kumoji, Naha City
Naha OPA Branch
Kafuna Asahibashi City Block A, 1-20-1 Izumizaki, Naha City, Okinawa
[MA-SAN MICHEL Cafe]
Ameku Ryubo Branch
1-2-1 Ameku, Naha City
Website for Cocos Island Okinawa Co., Ltd.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Nobuya Fukuda