While pondering these candies, I asked my sister why she believed that ginger, without the added boost of nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. and as a component of gingerbread, had not really caught on as part of Western diets. It's healthy, tasty, and not insanely expensive. I do see candied ginger on sale of Trade Joes (and I could eat an entire bag of it if I didn't exercise some self-control), but you don't tend to see much in the way of things like ginger lollipops, gum, or even cough drops. Our consumption of ginger is relatively limited unless it's ginger ale, gingerbread, or ginger snap cookies.
Her reply, which is the one that makes the most sense, if that it isn't indigenous so we didn't habitually consume it, but there are plenty of things people eat which were introduced relatively late in the cultural game. I'm pretty sure most everyone has soy sauce in their refrigerator these days... well, perhaps except for your granny who likely frowns in disapproval at the bottle of black stuff which you insist on adding to your stir fry. Of course, she does this while also looking puzzled and a little frightened of the wok you've got heated to nuclear levels in order to produce said stir fry.
At any rate, we do appear to be far more conservative about our candy than we are about other foods. For savory preparations, we'll toss in the kitchen sink whether it's Asian, European, or American. However, we won't put up with such shenanigans in our sweets. I don't even find that people are putting it in their tea, and that's one of the best places to get your ginger on for health purposes.
I'm fanatical about getting rid of trash so I threw out my bag before I took a picture for this review. Mine is the one on the far right. This picture is from PT Agel Langgeng's site.
Perhaps due to the exposure to ginger that I had in Japan, it's one of my favorite flavorings and I am keen to try a variety of preparations of it. My desire to have it is especially high if I have a sore throat because I fool myself into thinking it'll help it get better.
These candies are very chewy, but not as deadly as the last ginger candy I tried. They stick to your teeth, and would surely be a hazard to sensitive dental work, but have less of a tendency to get jammed in your gums or the roof of your mouth than similarly sticky candies. Still, if you've got old fillings, beware.
The candy's taste reveals itself over time. At first, it is mellow and sweet with just a hint of ginger. As you keep chewing, it turns a little hotter, but still retains it sweetness. By the time you're done, it's sending some heat into the back of your throat and the sugar is merely tempering the spicy kick. This, to me, is what a ginger candy should be. I like the transition and that hotness, which is unique to spices like garlic and ginger, makes me feel like I'm getting some heavy duty benefits from one of the spices that has the power to both delight the senses and heal the body.
I loved these and would absolutely buy them again. Of course, I'm a sucker for ginger candy and an even bigger sucker for cheap candy (I paid 99 cents/100 yen for this at an Asian market). These are similar to the Sina Ginger candy that I reviewed previously, but I would rate these as slightly better both in terms of quality (not quite as sweet, not quite as sticky) and quantity (more candy for the same price). If you're a fan of ginger candy, this one is a winner.