Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Garlic Pepper Beer Beano

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That's the message I need to keep in mind when I buy snacks made with healthy vegetables. Just because these salted snack tube things are made with peas, it doesn't mean that they carry any of the nutritional value or low calorie aspects of peas. I should know better by now. I'm not fooling anyone, least of all my thighs and ass.

I found these snacks (made by Tohato) at the local 100 yen shop (for 100 yen, about a buck) and was drawn to the promise of two great tastes that taste great together - garlic and pepper. I also though, hmmm, peas, much better than potato-based snacks. Stupid brain should have looked more carefully at the calorie content which is 63 grams (2.2 oz.) at 393 calories. That's worse than some deep-fried chips. This is pretty impressive considering the first ingredient is peas. I think they just make them with a lot of fat to help people who are drinking get a bit less drunk.

These smell fabulous. There's a heavy garlic scent when you open the bag. You can't really detect the pepper by scent. The flavor of garlic is first and foremost, followed by a slight vegetable flavor, and a pepper finishing flavor. They taste great if you love garlic.

The sticking point is the texture, which is hard to categorize. I'm not sure how these are made, and though they look like a Chee-to, they are more like a Styrofoam packing peanut in terms of texture. They're soft and spongy even though they're not stale. The texture is pretty much the point that spoiled these for me. If they had been crispy, I'd have loved them, but biting into them is singularly unsatisfying. You get the feeling they were air-popped or something, but there's too much fat in them for that to be the case.

These would have been a definite repeat purchase, despite the high caloric content, if it weren't for the texture. As it is, I can only recommend them if you aren't hung up on texture and adore garlic.

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