sugar lumps and soot balls

It’s always the simple things. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is not just my favorite Studio Ghibli film but one of my all-time comfort movies. The scene wherein the boiler room critters gleefully grab their sugar stars delights me no end. I would always replay that striking scene and squee like a beribboned four-year-old, so imagine my thrill when I opened this omiyage from a visiting Japanese friend! These specialty sugar lumps are called konpeito (sounds like confetti to me) and though taste is achingly simple, they’re apparently hard to make…which is typical of traditional Japanese sweets. I’d like to pretend they’re magic rocks that would take me to Chihiro’s momentary otherworld or if not, a roundtrip ticket to Taiwan to revisit Jiufen (rumored to be Miyazaki’s setting inspiration for this movie) isn’t such a bad alternative. =^.^=

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