September 7, 2022
TOKYO – Ice cream that barely melts even in the summer heat is unique to Kinoto Manjuya, a long-established confectionery shop in Tainai, Niigata Prefecture. Since its establishment in the Edo period (1603-1867), the store has been selling traditional Kinoto manju sweet buns kneaded with rice koji malt.
In an attempt to cultivate new demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, the shop began selling Ottegi ice cream made from locally produced rice flour.
The ice cream bar was left out in the store with a room temperature of 28.6 C for 30 minutes —much longer than intended — when workers tried to figure out when it was ready to eat, but it hardly melted and kept its shape even when lifted by its stick.
The ice cream went viral on social media after the shop posted about its solidity. Kneading rice flour into the ice cream makes it less likely to melt, according to Kinoto Manjuya. At its peak, the shop has sold more than 100 ice cream bars per day.