Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wasabi Kaki No Tane Sembei
Advertising is an interesting art and science. I used to receive a menu for a Chinese restaurant that featured a dish which looked like a whole baby pig, snout to tail, had been roasted and was going to be served to the customer. That grossed me out so much that I never patronized them.
On bags of wasabi-flavored snacks, you often see a green, gnarled root with what looks like broken, scabbed over pustules on it. These roots have never really drawn me to wasabi products, though after seeing them enough, they haven't really repulsed me either. I guess it's a good indication of how cultural experiences shape your perceptions of what is and is not attractive food-wise.
Given my positive experience with Sweet Box's regular kaki no tane (persimmon seeds) with peanuts sembei, I scooped up this wasabi version at the local 100 yen shop. I figured that if the regular kind was good, a hotter, spicier version certainly couldn't be any worse. These Sweet Box packets of snacks are also great value with 6 packets and decent portion control at 120 calories each.
The first bite of these carries a nice hot hit of wasabi. Subsequent bites lack quite the same power, but there are still notes of the wasbi in there. My tongue must have grown accustomed to the flavor after awhile because the heat became more muted as I neared the end of the packet. It's interesting that my experience with these is the opposite of the regular version. The regular type gets hotter as you eat more. These get mellower as you eat more. I guess they use different types of peppers which affect the tongue differently.
I enjoyed these quite a lot. I'd certainly consider buying them again if I was in the mood for a savory peanut-including snack. I wish there was just a bit more wasbi flavor in them, but after my previous wasabi sembei experience, perhaps I should just be glad that it didn't start to burn the back of my nasal passages.