Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Caritz Corn Potage Pretzel Snacks
Caritz (カリッ) means "crisp" in Japanese and I have to give this snack credit for truth in advertising on that front. These things are crisp. The naming seizes on the one aspect which cannot be denied. It also says "oishii" which means "delicious" and this is a big, fat lie, at least in the case of these corn potage flavor ones.
Caritz are almost certainly a low rent rip-off of Cratz brand pretzel snacks by Glico. Both of them are small nubbins of flavored pretzel mixed with nuts. The big differences are that Cratz cost about 60% more, has more nuts in the mix, and tastes good. I paid 100 yen for Caritz at a local 99 yen shop because I was hoping it was going to be a cheaper alternative to Cratz (which I love in all of its forms), and you know what people say about getting what you pay for.
When I opened the bag of Caritz, it didn't smell right. In fact, it had an odd powdered milk mixed with rancid powdered cheese smell. Corn potage is a soup which is made with corn, milk, onion, and garlic. It's made with a chicken soup stock base. All of those flavors seem to be listed in the ingredients, but I didn't taste them. I only tasted whatever the cheese component of these is with a relatively weak corn flavor. The pretzels themselves also seem off. They're hard, but in a way that is closer to a bad crouton than a good pretzel. Dense pretzels can be good, but these weren't.
Perhaps I got a bad bag of these, but this was a truly disappointing experience. It's rare for a salted snack food to be so unappealing to me when it contains a lot of flavors which I like. There is just something about the powdered flavoring that hit me completely wrong and I definitely wouldn't buy these again. In fact, I'm so put off by this flavor of Caritz that I'm unlikely to try the other flavors unless I'm really bored or willing to take a risk.