Friday, September 11, 2009
German Potato Gourmet Doritos
I can't speak for everywhere else in the world, but German potatoes are not a standard dish in any eating establishment I ever visited in America. They are, however, a standard offering in bars and restaurants where there is an emphasis on alcohol. Early in my stay in Japan, when I was working at Nova conversation school and socializing once a week or more with coworkers, we used to go to bars or restaurants which offered such fare.
During one of these social gatherings, German potatoes were the center of one of my more awkward and memorable social situations in Japan. My husband had ordered a small plate of "German potato", not knowing at the time what it was, but deciding to brave it even with a pretty steep price tag (about $3 for a very small side dish). He was given a very small, sizzling plate of nicely browned, greasy potatoes with bits of onion and bacon. He loved it and a female coworker of mine wanted a bite to see if she'd like it enough to get it, too. As it turned out, she liked it so much that she kept eating his ever diminishing portion. After she'd taken three bites (closing in on eating half), he commented that he wasn't going to have enough if she kept it up. She said that she felt as if her hand had just been slapped away and she was quite flummoxed because of it.
At the time, I wanted to crawl under the table because I wished my husband had just ordered another plate of potatoes rather than say something to her. In retrospect though, I think my friend should have just ordered her own potatoes. I also think that it was inappropriate of her to make it seem as though my husband were responsible for the tension that resulted from her eating his food rather than her taking responsibility for her bad manners.
I think German potatoes are offered in places with a lot of beer drinking because they are greasy and fatty and help people not get as drunk (or hungover). With the memory of that tasty bar food in mind, my husband picked up a bag of these gourmet Doritos at a local 99 yen shop and I was along for the ride. Of course, he only associates German potatoes with fatty goodness, not social embarrassment since he long ago forgot about the aforementioned incident.
These Doritos come in an 80 gram (2.8 oz.) bag and, if you can eat nearly 3 oz. of chips at one go, you'll consume nearly 400 calories. Though they don't contain any actual potato, as they are still corn chips, they are flavored with potato, bacon, and onion. The smell is distinctly ham-like. The amazing thing about these is that they really do taste very much like the German potatoes you get in bars in Japan. They even have that buttery, nicely browned potato flavor along with pork and onion. The only difference is the crispy texture and the corn chip flavor which hits you as you finish the chip.
This is a very good Dorito, but it is still a Dorito. If you like German potatoes, this should hit the spot nicely. My husband really liked these and I thought they were good as well, though I probably won't buy them again because of the unpleasant memories they dredge up of social awkwardness. ;-)
(Seriously, I'd buy them again if I were in the mood.)