Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tyrant Habanero "Anbiriba Rod"

The "Tyrant Habanero" brand of spicy rings (by Tohato) has been around for quite a few years and I'm a big fan of them. In fact, I like them so much that I don't buy them because I know I'll eat the whole bag. As has been remarked by more than one person who has imprudently scarfed down a whole bag, they taste great going in, but are really not so great coming out. Ahem.

The rings, which I have not reviewed previously, are pretty much the same as these "rods" except that the rods are rolled out versions. they're thinner, easier to eat, and in a smaller package. The good part about this is that, if you can't stop yourself from foolishly eating them all, it isn't nearly as painful later on. The cup contains 35 grams (1.2 oz.) of small rods and 150 calories. They also do not appear to be quite as densely coated as the rings so they're somewhat less spicy, but it is the same spice coating and mixture.

The spices on these sticks include tomato, onion, garlic, pork, mushroom, and chicken flavor powders as well as habanero puree. Because the habanero pepper is so potent, eating a lot of them (especially the ring version) continuously tends to burn out your taste buds ability to sense anything but heat. If you eat them slowly, you get a better sense of the savory nature of the other spices, particularly the tomato. These are potato-based processed snacks, but you really can't taste the potato much through the spices.

These are thin and crispy and I prefer these rods over the rings both in terms of shape and the ability to bite into them without worrying about the shape of the ring landing awkwardly (or painfully) against your teeth or gums. These are fairly hot so you have to have a slightly strong tongue to enjoy them. I've had hotter things than these, mind you, but they are not for those with a sensitivity to spicy things. I would definitely get these again, but I'm a huge fan of hot foods.

If you'd like to display the evil jack-o-lantern style pepper on your desktop, you can download desktop pictures of it from Tohato here. There's an extra freaky one which looks like a bunch of people worshiping the evil pepper. Let's hope it's not some weird new cult.


Kelly said...

I have bought these before for Yasu, he loves them. I can't stand hot food or chili at all, so even a whiff was enough for me.

I wonder why it is that some people can eat really spicy food and others can't. Do you think that if you tried to eat something like that every day you could build up something that would make you get used to the flavour? There are so many spicy dishes around that I would love to try if I knew how to make my mouth co-operate!

Orchid64 said...

I think taste, like other senses, are different in each individual. Some people can see better than others. Some can hear better and some are more ticklish (sensitive to touch). I'm not sure if you can "teach" your taste buds to be less sensitive or to tolerate different tastes better because I don't know if the physical map of your taste buds can be re-mapped. I think we can learn to control the cognitive and emotional reaction to a taste, but not our tongues response to it.

I have always liked spicy food. When I was younger, I used to get Wendy's hot sauce packets home and douse food in them. My husband, on the other hand, has always been pretty sensitive to spicy food, despite liking the taste. He just suffers actual pain from eating such things.

I think most people's sense of taste dulls and changes with age (just like many other senses) so people can tolerate stronger flavors as they get older. So, there may yet be hope for you, but maybe when you're older. ;-)

Thanks for yoru comment.

Marvo said...

If I didn't read your review, I would've assumed that I needed to add hot water to it and wait three minutes before I could enjoy it, like a Cup Noodles.

Bryan said...

Those actually sound pretty good - I'm not familiar with Tohato snacks, why are they called "tyrant" habanero? Is the pepper on the front supposed to be an evil tyrant? =)

Orchid64 said...

Marvo: The Japanese are pioneers in "food in a cup" technology. One of these days, I need to head off to Seiyu (a bigger market than the ones I usually go to) and buy some "cake in a cup" that you cook in the microwave for review. Now, there's cup tech at its finest!

Bryan: I'm not sure why they're "tyrant" habanero, but I actually think your supposition is correct. That is, the evil pepper jack-o-lantern thing is supposed to be a tyrant... though I could be wrong!

Boy, just writing about these makes me want to eat more of them.