Animal Cookies

The first time I came to Japan I bought a bag of animal cookies in Tsukiji, and I loved 'em. Now whenever I see some for sale, I usually buy a bag. They are much better than the animal crackers that are available in the U.S. The main reason they taste better is that they've got icing on them. On Sunday, I bought a bag of them in Sugamo. 200 grams worth. I just finished the bag at work. I often buy them at Muji stores, too. The Muji bags are much smaller, only 80 grams. The shape is a bit cuter than average ones, but the taste is about the same. The cookies are called doubutsu youchi. Doubutsu means animal, but I didn't know what youchi meant. After some research, I found out that it comes from the word for kindergarten, youchien. The name apparently comes from something called "kindergarten biscuits" that came into Japan from Britain in the late 19th century.