Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Iwatsuka Kinako Sembei
I've been perusing the sembei aisles with an increasing sense of boredom as of late. Given my hatred of shrimp, I find a lot of the rice crackers that I haven't yet sampled increasingly unappealing. Fortunately, Iwatsuka Seika, the same company that made the smoked potato cheese cracker pellets I reviewed before, put out some kinako sembei and I'm a sucker for all things kinako.
If the fact that these are kinako wasn't appealing enough, being 15 calories per cracker upped the appeal. Unfortunately, being low calorie only helps if you don't feel inclined to gobble down half the 24-piece bag in one sitting. I regained control after 4 pieces, but that was still more than I felt I should be eating at once.
For the umpteenth time, I will remind everyone that kinako is toasted soy flour with a nutty, almost peanut butter-like taste. It's not for everyone, but it's one of the more approachable flavors among various common Japanese seasonings. These smell like kinako, of course, and are generously dusted on the outside with a layer of seasoning that includes cinnamon. There's a hint of sweetness and a vague suggestion of salt.
One negative point about these is that they're rather messy because the seasoning is applied so thickly. The bits of seasoning tend to just fall off as soon as you open the packet. Also, they're wrapped in paper wrappers which I'm sure aren't going to protect them well from going stale. Fortunately, I expect to gobble up the whole bag soon enough so there's little danger that they'll have time to go stale.