Monday, April 27, 2009
Purple Potato Pretz
There is a wide variety of flavored Pretz brand pretzels available in Japanese markets right now. Since my first lackluster experience with Pretz (Cheddar Pretz), I have been finding it hard to work up any enthusiasm for the basil, pumpkin, and tomato versions that have been around for ages. The idea of a "purple potato" version sounded more intriguing.
To be honest, I'm not even sure what a purple potato is. The front of the bag shows the average sweet potato with purple skin and yellow flesh as well as a purple flesh version. Part of what makes this appealing is the idea that I might be ingesting some sort of earth-alien hybrid vegetable or perhaps the bastard offspring of a grape that happened to mate with a standard sweet potato. Sure, it's possible. I'm not crazy.
The purple potato Pretz are not just sweet potato flavored. They also include olive oil and hibiscus. I'm not sure what hibiscus tastes like, but there is a picture of some nice-looking pink flowers accompanied by the bottom of a pot of golden olive oil on the back of the bag. The bag is 42 grams (1.5 oz.) and 203 calories. I picked it up for 98 yen (about a dollar) at a drug store, but I think these tend to be slightly more expensive in markets and convenience stores.
When you open the bag, you smell a nice sweet potato scent. The pretzels are rather freakishly purple looking, but they are not artificially colored. The first bite is of salty sweet potato followed by a trace of olive oil and a very faint floral note. The flavor has good depth and seems strange at first, but it really grew on me. They're both sweet and savory and have an interesting mix of earthy flavors that come together quite well.
If you like sweet potatoes and aren't a purist, I'd strongly recommend giving these a try. I would definitely buy them again. The only risk is of eating them all at once.