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The Original Popo?! [Sobe Popo] Make Great Okinawan Souvenirs
post : 2021.03.18 07:00
Introducing one of Okinawa's traditional sweets, the "Popo". These simple yet tasty treats are made with a mixture of flour and eggs that are cooked thinly like crepes, with a layer of Andansu (Abura Miso; Okinawa’s delicious seasoned miso) spread inside. They’re then rolled up and ready to enjoy. What about its origin? Some say the original Popo was the "Sobe Popo," from Sobe, Yomitan Village.
The characteristic of Sobe Po Po is the thick, plump dough kneaded with brown sugar. Unlike regular Popo, there’s no Andansu inside. The Sobe Popo has been cherished by the locals for its simple and moderate sweetness of brown sugar that you won't get tired of.
Its unique sounding name is also unforgettable, but this delicious confectionary was inspired by culinary influences from China. It is said that the Popo gained popularity in the Sobe area first, and then spread throughout Okinawa.
Many years ago, the Popo was made in Sobe as offerings in a local agricultural ceremony called the Abushi-Bare, held in April of the lunar calendar. These offerings were then distributed among the spectators of the Uma-Harase (horse racing) that was held together with Abushi-Bare. The Popo was a big hit among the people and it is said that this is how it spread across Okinawa.
Even today, the people of Sobe make huge batches of Sobe Popo on April 14th and 15th of the lunar calendar, and hand them out to their relatives and neighbors!
Sobe Popo made by various makers are available at the Yunta Ichiba market in Yomitan Village, Okinawa. Drop by and pick a few up and find your favorite one!
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Reina Chinen (0173).