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Place of origin
|Glutinous rice, potatoes, or sweet potatoes|
Mizuame (水飴?) is a sweetener from Japan which is translated literally to "water candy". A clear, thick, sticky liquid, it is made by converting starch to sugars. Mizuame is added to wagashi to give them a sheen, eaten in ways similar to honey, and can be a main ingredient in sweets. Mizuame is produced in a very similar fashion to corn syrup and is very similar in taste.
Two methods are used to convert the starches to sugars. The traditional method is to take glutinous rice mixed with malt and let the natural enzymatic process take place, converting the starch to syrup. The second and more common method uses potatoes or sweet potatoes as the starch source, and added acid, such as hydrochloric, sulfuric or nitric acids. If done by the first method, the final product, known as mugi mizuame (麦水飴), is considered more flavorful than the potato version.
- Davidson, Alan. Oxford Companion to Food (1999). "Mizuame", p. 510 ISBN 0-19-211579-0