September 20, 12 | Hokkaido Likers
Many people born and raised in Hokkaido will feel extremely nostalgic when they see this package. "Vitamin Kasutera," or the “vitamin sponge cake,” was easy to find at any neighborhood general store and because of its low price, it was an extremely popular snack. But what many people don't know is that the birthplace of this treat is right here, in Hokkaido's own Asahikawa City!
At the young age of 12, the snack's creator, Kashiotto Takahashi, began an apprenticeship at Nagasaki's Bunmeido Confectionery. There he honed his skills and soon began to travel around Japan working at various confectionaries across the country. Finally, in 1917 he decided to begin his own company in Asahikawa City.
He initially sold treats like the "Nagasaki Kasutera" and crackers, but in 1921 he started production on an original snack, the "Vitamin Kasutera!" Not only was it cheap, it was also nutritious. This was during a period in time when regular diets weren’t providing the proper amount of nutrients, so the snack was made for those who wanted to supplement their diet.
The shape of the cake is the same as a regular sponge cake, however it boasts a higher vitamin B1 and B2 content than other sponge cakes. Those two vitamins were commonly lacking in the diets of the time, making it a delicious and healthy choice.