Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Kameida Seika Dashi Sembei
Doing this blog has taught me many things and one of the most recent is that all of the individual and double-packaging in the world will not protect crunchy, savory snacks from going stale... no matter how solidly sealed it appears to be. This bag of sembei was consumed largely in the first month, then one cracker perhaps in the first six weeks. The final cracker, which I saved for tasting when I got my lazy ass around to writing a review, sat in the package alone for 6 months.
Now, perhaps it got lonely up there and decided to punish me, but it was horribly stale. It seems that the sealed individual packet and the outer plastic bag being loosely closed were not enough to keep the ravages of the atmosphere from dampening it's rice crackery appeal. Once you open the bag, do not count on the individual packets to keep things fresh. This is the newest wisdom that I impart to you, gentle readers.
Fortunately, I do recall that this cracker was crispy and had a lot of snap when I ate most of them, so I can vouch for the texture if you buy them and consume them within about a month. They smell slightly soy sauce-like with a vague hint of something difficult to pin down. I believe that is the mixture of flavors and spices that come with the "dashi" portion of this. Dashi is Japanese soup stock which is composed of various ingredients depending on the region it is made in and the tastes of the person making it. The flavor on these is very savory and meaty with hints of garlic, fish, and, of course, soy sauce. The melange of flavors is really quite pleasant, and I'm not a particular fan of fish.
I really enjoyed these, but I had a little trouble choosing between "indifferent" and "happy" because, while I'd be delighted to eat these again if offered one, I'm not sure I'd buy a whole bag of my own volition again. It's not that they aren't tasty, but rather that I think I'd go for some other type of sembei over this if I had a lot of options. Part of the problem is that one cracker, though generously sized, is 64 calories, which seems like a lot for one cracker when I can have two brown sugar sembei crackers for the same number of calories. However, I wholeheartedly recommend these if you particularly enjoy Japanese soup flavors.