きっぱん （橘餅）kippan is a traditional Ryukyu confection. It is made from kaabuchii カーブチー citrus (also called “kunenbo” 九年母) which grows in Yanbaru (northern Okinawa). The outside skin is peeled and the entire fruit is then used. It takes 4 days to make! It was one of the 16 different kinds of fine fruits, desserts and sweets served to the Royal Court, especially when entertaining envoys from China, but eventually became available to the common people as well.
There is only one shop in Okinawa that continues the laborious process of making this luxurious confection– Jahana Kippan-ten 謝花きっぱん店. They also make tougatsuke, preserved winter melon sweets.
Anyway, these are made with no preservatives or artificial flavors. Just simply a luxurious dessert to go with tea. The flavor is deep and rich, my husband said it was reminiscent of a fruitcake with the dried preserved fruit flavor. It is recommended to be paired with a fine tea or dessert wine. The kippan does not come cheap at ~420yen per piece, but considering the care and labor that goes into making each one by hand it is worth the luxury.
Address: Okinawa, Naha, Matsuo 1-5-14