Arare (snack) (あられ (菓子))

Arare is short for arare mochi (rice cake) and is a snack made by cutting rice cakes into pieces two to three centimeters in length and about five millimeters wide and roasting them.

Usually they are baked but sometimes they are fried.

The rice cakes are the same as the commonly sold ones and generally in order to add color, colored rice cakes which contain yomogi (mugwort) or other herbs, or other red or yellow foods or coloring are used.

They are baked at a distance from the fire in a special net-like container and expand like mochi, and are ready to eat after cooling. If they are fried in oil they become quite soft.

Add a little salt or sugar when eating.

Also, rice cakes which are cut up into quite small pieces are used as an ingredient in ochazuke (rice with green tea). This was added for crunchiness when eating ochazuke however later it was learned that it played a role as a drying agent to prevent ochazuke from becoming moist and it was accepted as the norm. Even though that sealing technology has now advanced it is still the norm to add it to ochazuke as the fragrant flavor is popular. Moreover, the arare in ochazuke is also called bubu-arare and sometimes it is shortened to bubu (bubu-zuke means ochazuke in the Kyoto dialect).

Senbei (rice crackers) are another type of snack made from rice however these are not made from mochi (glutinous rice), but from non-glutinous rice.

[Original Japanese]