Thursday, June 18, 2009
Kameida Black and White Pepper Sembei
Most people are familiar with Peugeot. It's a car maker, right? Well, a few months ago, I learned that they make pepper mills. In fact, they've been making pepper mills since 1842. I think they need to work on their brand name recognition for their cooking instruments. No company wants to only be known for its world class cars when it's got a line of fine pepper and salt mills for the discerning culinary types out there.
Of course, I'm by no means a discerning culinary type, but I do like coarsely ground black pepper in big visible bits. When I make a salad, I break out the pepper and salt mills to liberally sprinkled it with crunchy seasoning. Given my predilection for highly visible spices, I couldn't resist this bag of sembei. In fact, I noticed that there were two types with visible pepper on display, so I wonder if several food manufacturers have bought themselves some fine Peugeot pepper mills and decided to put them to good use.
Each is individually wrapped and 33 calories for each 7 cm (2.7 in.) cracker. The ingredients include two kinds of rice, vegetable oil, black pepper, salt, fish extract powder, garlic powder, extract of kelp powder, soy sauce powder, garlic oil, onion powder, and white pepper. As you can see, the white pepper is far down on the list. I have a feeling someone added a pinch into the seasoning mix just so they could put a more interesting graphic on the bag and that it doesn't figure at all in the overall taste.
These sembei have an excellent, crispy texture and feel deep-fried (hence the vegetable oil being second on the ingredients list). They are pretty salty in a good way and the little flecks of pepper burned the corners of my mouth. Still, that being said, I could have used a little more pepper. It's probably just about right for a normal human being who doesn't love black pepper as much as I do.
I enjoyed these quite a lot and would certainly consider buying them again. However, I'll probably give another pepper sembei a try first just in case the other maker was a bit more liberal with the coarse pepper bits.