Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mayo Mania Corn Snacks

When you think of big mayonnaise eaters, my guess is that the majority of people are not thinking of all the trim Japanese people walking around in their smart business clothes or even the tiny geisha in their kimono. I'm guessing the only Japanese people most Western folks envision scarfing down the mayonnaise are sumo wrestlers. The truth is so much more disturbing than most people realize.

The Japanese love mayonnaise. There is even a fan club called "We Love Mayo!" If you look at the bag pictured above, you see a graphic of someone pouring a tube of mayo right into his mouth. On the back of the bag (not pictured), there's another graphic of a man squirting two tubes of mayo into his mouth. This actually is an attractive notion to some Japanese people. Personally, I would find having to eat mayo straight from the bottle/tube a form of torture. That's not to say that I don't like mayo. I do like to put a bit of light mayonnaise on some types of sandwiches, but my appreciation ends there. It's a condiment, not a meal and I'd no sooner pour it straight into my mouth than I'd drink from a ketchup bottle.

In the interest of snack food testing, and because I can't resist some weird ass foods, I bought this Mayo Mania corn snack at a Family Mart convenience store. It cost about 120 yen ($1.22) for 60 grams (2.1 oz.). The whole bag is 319 calories. This is the regular mayo flavor, but there is also a version with a blue bag which is "tuna mayo" that was not in stock.

The rings look a lot like Funyuns. They also have a similar light crispy texture to those same processed onion rings. Since both Mayo Mania and Funyuns are made by Frito Lay, this is no surprise. Opening the bag is a bit like huffing a jar or mayonnaise, the smell hits you pretty clearly though the smell isn't nearly as potent as the taste. These taste like eating a spoon full of mayonnaise with a spicy chaser at the end. The front of the bag proudly boasts that the flavor has been doubled in intensity, and boy howdy, do I believe it.

I ate these along with a chicken sandwich (which I intentionally left the mayonnaise off of) in order to dilute the experience and it was still pretty overwhelming. These are good. The saltiness, crunch, and added spicy heat are nice, but the mayo flavor is so strong that I couldn't see trying them again nor wold I recommend them to any but the most ardent lovers of mayonnaise.


Kelly said...

These sound good, and so do the tuna mayo! I actually prefer the japanese mayo over any other. At first i wasn't a fan but i grew to love it.

That little white bottle looks like a kewpie bottle or something.

Yasu and i eat japanese mayo on anything, and we love it on our fish n chips! yum :) I'm keeping my eye out for these...

ebidebby said...

I am not a mayo fan, and it's on everything in Japan. You're completely right. I have no idea why mayonnaise is considered a flavor in Japan.

badmoodguy (Бадмўдгуи) said...

I always wondered about the Japanese fascination with mayonnaise since seeing the soft squeezie-bottle of 'Kewpie' mayo at the international market. I have heard about their obsession with it in the past, and I guess this shows it to be more than true!

Kelly said...

@ebidebby - because it's Japan! When do they ever follow anyone else? ;)