Don’t mess with rice crackers in Japan.
They’re the perfect おやつ (oyatsu, snack) to go with your beer. 柿の種 (Kaki no Tane) are small crescent-shaped soy-flavored rice crackers mixed with peanuts. So when you take the せんべい out of the bag, that leaves only peanuts.
And Japanese Twitter peeps do not like that.
What is kaki no tane?
Kaki no tane is a popular senbei (soy-flavored rice cracker) snack from Niigata Prefecture. Its crescent shape was actually an accident, but people loved them so much that the shape stuck. Its name—like its shape—also sounds like the Japanese word for persimmon (柿) seeds (種).
Like with most Japanese snacks, kaki no tane comes in many unique regional flavors, from wasabi to ume-shiso (pickled plum and shiso), takoyaki, yuzu, and yes, even chocolate.
When you mix these slightly spicy rice crackers with salty peanuts, boom! You get “kaki-pi” (‘pi’ from ピーナツ, peanuts). It’s the perfect appetizer to crunch on while drinking away your sorrows.
It’s also worth noting that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has officially approved this beloved snack as a “Space Japanese Food” in 2017. That’s how important rice-crackers are to Japanese people.
The best kaki no tane to peanuts ratio…?
Japanese people mean business when it comes to their beloved kaki no tane. It was always believed that a 6:4 ration for senbei and peanuts was best, but kaki-pi manufacturer, Kameda, made a shocking discovery after a recent national survey on Twitter.
— ねとらぼ (@itm_nlab) March 5, 2020
亀田製菓の柿の種、柿の種とピーナッツの黄金比ついに崩れる 今後は「柿の種6：ピーナッツ4」→「7：3」に @itm_nlabから
“Winter has come for peanuts.
Kaki no tane manufacturer Kameda’s golden ratio of 6:4 collapses, 6:4 will become 7:3…From @itm_nlab”
According to the survey, 29.5% of consumers prefer a ratio of 7:3 of senbei to peanuts, while 19% prefer a whopping ratio of 8:2 of more crunchy rice crackers to peanuts. Regardless, it was a good opportunity for Kameda to tease consumers with math problems. You know, since schools are closed.
①柿の種 ピーナッツ ＝
“Let’s take a break at home with a quick math exercise.
Here’s a brain teaser
1. kaki no tane + peanuts = ?
2. kaki no tane x peanuts = ?
※ Look at the image and think (the weight ratio is 7:3)
Reply with your answers.”
Do we want to eat rice crackers? Hell yes. Do we want to do arithmetic with kaki no tane? No, thank you! After all, we shouldn’t play with food, right?
Take the tane out of the equation and you get…
Peanuts. Packs of plain salty peanuts.
After teasing their customers with an online survey, and despite the results, Kameda showed everyone that 2020 truly belonged to the peanuts by announcing ピーナツだけ (peanuts only) kaki no tane.
Like, for real.
— M-Project (フジロック2018出演者) (@mproject) April 13, 2020
“Have you gone crazy… ?”
While the debate (which involved too much math and not enough eating) raged on, some good folks kindly pointed out that Kameda also released ピーナツなし (without peanuts).
How to talk about ratios in Japanese
Time to review a few words and key expressions to talk about ratios. First, you should get familiar with the kanji 対, which means “versus” as in フランス対イタリア (France VS Italy), but is also used to talk about ratio with numbers as in “4対2” (4 to 2). While 対 is sometimes replaced with a colon, out loud, you’ll read it as たい, too.
To talk about the ratio of “X to Y,” you’ll use the expression ＜…＞と＜…＞の比率は…対….
For example, 女子と男子の比率は3対1である = the ratio of girls and boys is 3 to 1. The highest number always comes first.
And when you’re referring to the ratio between two things, you’ll use 割合, as in 利益と収入の = ratio between profit and income.
So which team are you on? Team peanuts or team kaki? Let us know in the comments (in Japanese if you can)!
|柿の種||kaki no tane||half-moon shaped type of rice crackers|
|亀田製菓||kameda seika||Manufacturer Kameda|
|今後||kongo||from now on|
|息抜きに||ikinuki ni||let’s take a break|
|算数の宿題||sansuu no shyukudai||math homework|
|頭の体操||atama no taisou||brain teaser|
|休校中||kyuukouchyuu||during school closure|
|気が触れる||gi ga sawareru||get mad, crazy|