Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Double Cream Brown Sugar Sembei
I've been questing to find a combination of a salty-sweet sembei marriage that pleases my picky palate. I knew it was out there somewhere, and brown sugar and cream (two-thirds of what makes caramel what it is) seemed like a good place to look for my edible salty-sweet fiance.
This particular bag of sembei didn't make the trip from the store very well. Several of my packets were smashed and the crackers broken. I'm not sure if that is how the shop got them, or if that is what I did to them when I crammed them into my backpack with 8 bottles of Diet Coke. At any rate, this bag has 24 large crackers packaged in 2-cracker packs for about 170 yen (about $1.70). Each two-pack is 62 calories and that doesn't seem too bad for something streaked with what appears to be sugary frosting.
The crackers are the "soft" or puffy type of sembei rather than the brittle thin type. They clearly are made by folding over the dough and are a little hollow in the center. They smell of brown sugary goodness and are nice and crispy. When you bite into them, they tend to let loose with a lot of little hard crumbs though so I recommend eating them from the packet and allowing the flotsam to fall back in the bag.
The taste is at first a bit of a "burnt" brown sugar flavor which is reminiscent of molasses followed by a clearly discernible, but not overpowering hit of salt. The combination seems to be in perfect balance. I can't really taste the cream, and to be honest it isn't high up on the ingredients list so I have my doubts about the volume of actual cream in them, but I don't think these need more of anything. They are great as they are.
I loved these and think they'd make an excellent substitute for a cookie if you were in the mood for something sweet. After I finished the bag, I wished I had bought another to have around. While I was able to control my eating for the most part, it was extremely easy to eat 6 crackers in one sitting when I was hungry and throwing caution to the wind. By all means, give these a try.