Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Kameda Seika Curry Sembei "Joy Pack"
How many failures does it take before one should give up on a good version of something coming along? Well, my previous experience with curry sembei was not great. The taste was good, but the texture ruined it. This time, I came across a variety from a company that has not let me down on the sembei front, Kameda Seika. I found this for about 140 yen (about $1.40) at a Family Mart convenience store and figured I'd go to the Japanese-Indian well in the hopes of drawing some sweet water this time. Besides, this is a "joy pack", so I was counting on truth in advertising.
There are 74 grams (2.6 oz.) of crackers in the bag. If you snarf down the whole thing, it's 370 calories. The crackers smell just like curry powder. Each cracker is about the size of a large potato chip. You can put a whole one in your mouth (or at least I can, and my mouth is pretty small). The flavor is a decent curry flavor, but much weaker than the cheaper Sanshin curry that I sampled previously. It was just a little hot toward the end, but definitely not for lovers of a really good burn. And, I love a good burn.
The crackers are fresh and crispy. They're "soft" sembei which means they're puffier inside and not brittle, but the flavor is somehow wrong. There's too much of a Japanese mixture in it. This could be something about the way the rice crackers are baked, or it could be the soy flavors that are added to it. I'm not sure, but I just wasn't thrilled with these. Don't get me wrong, they were fine and I'll easily finish the bag, but they just weren't good enough to justify having them again.
I'm pretty much giving up on curry sembei after these two tries. It's not that I don't think they can be done right, but just that I figure if Kameda Seika can't get it right, no one can.