Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yahoo! Majimori Corn Snack Tonkotsu Rich Miso

This is the second of two Majimori corn snacks based on ramen flavors. The first variety was "brown oil, garlic, and pork bone" flavor and I was rather fond of it. As I mentioned in the previous review, this product is a collaboration between several companies - Maruchan, Yahoo Japan, Frito-Lay and Tokyo Web Week 1.

Tonkotsu is the Japanese word for pork bone so both of the Majimori flavors are made with pork flavor. Since ramen is often flavored with pork, this is no surprise. By the way, ramen in Japan is sometimes the same sort of dried out noodles with salty flavor packets that is so common in Western countries, but the really good stuff is sold at food stands or restaurants and it's rather far removed from the cheap stuff college students use to fortify them when they've spent too much on beer and are looking at providing themselves with sustenance on a few dollars they found crammed under their roommates dirty socks.

The bar that is set for matching good ramen is significantly higher than the bar with living up to really cheap, dehydrated ramen. Since the first variety that I tried lived up to the complexity of the flavor, I fully expected this one to as well and I wasn't disappointed. Once again, all of the elements of well made ramen were there.

If you open the bag and give it a good sniff, you can smell cabbage, corn and a bit of a spicy, oil smell which is reminiscent of sesame oil. The interesting thing about the corn aroma and taste is that it is not the processed corn snack variety. It's the actual taste and smell of corn kernels. The cabbage flavor is also very present as is the taste of oily pork. The finish on them is one of spicy heat.

Unlike the brown oil pork and garlic flavor, the first bite has complex and rich flavors. You don't need to keep eating for the flavor to build its way up. I liked this, but the thing about both of the Majimori flavors is that they so successfully carry the oily flavor of ramen broth and this makes it less appealing for me personally. I imagine this is great for lovers of oil infused with rich, dense flavors, but it's just not my thing. I'd certainly give these another try if I was in the mood. Given my particular tastes though, that mood is unlikely to come around very often.

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