Thursday, November 5, 2009
Kiri and Stick Cream Cheese Snack
I usually don't check the origin of the snacks that I buy as long as the writing on the package is in Japanese. I figure that it being marketed in Japan qualifies it for review status in this blog. That being said, I probably should have realized that this is an import from France because of the French flag on the box. I guess the fact that I picked it up impulsively from the refrigerator case at the local 100 yen shop kept me from paying too much attention.
Kiri cream cheese is marketed in Japan by a company named Bel, which obviously must be French in origin. They market some of the best cheese products that we can find in Japan including Boursin, Babybel (which I never see locally), and Laughing Cow cheeses. I rarely buy any of these products because they're on the expensive side and I'm not big on softer, less flavorful cheeses. If I have a choice, I'll choose something with a harsher edge like cheddar. That being said, we'd buy Boursin all of the time if it didn't cost a fortune for a small quantity.
I decided to pick up this little snack pack because it seemed like a good opportunity to have something more nutritious and filling in a handy package. For only 100 yen ($1.10) and at only 108 calories, it seemed like good value. There are 8 bread sticks (6 cm./2.4 in.) and 25 grams (.88 oz.) of soft cream cheese. The portion of cream cheese to bread stick is perfect. You can scoop up a generous amount of the cream cheese on each stick and not run out.
The bread sticks are very crisp and fresh, but quite bland. They're definitely well-made, European-style bread sticks. The packaging does a great job of making sure they don't draw in moisture from the cream cheese side. The cream cheese is soft even when very cold and has the right amount of savory cheese flavor for cream cheese. I give it points for not being flavorless and bland as some cream cheese in Japan can be.
I really liked this and would definitely buy it again as a higher nutrition alternative to junkier snacks. There are 3.2 grams of protein in this and 3.5 grams of Calcium. I'd give this a "very happy" rating if it were a little more exciting. I'd love to see a similar thing with Boursin or flavored cream cheese.
Kiri is currently doing a Pokemon download promotion. You can download desktop pictures here by clicking on the orange buttons with "A" and "B" on them ("B" is cuter than "A", in my opinion). The other downloads are various .pdf files.