Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Kameida Seika Almond Fried Sembei
Have you ever eaten something for the first time and you could swear that you've eaten something very much like it before, but you can't work out what it is? Well, that's how I felt when I ate this sembei. It wasn't that I have eaten sembei like it before, but I believe I've had some sort of snack food which is roughly similar to it. The annoying thing is that I can't remember what it was. It's going to keep bugging me until I remember.
I'd been eyeballing this bag of almond sembei for quite some time. The calorie counts for each 25 gram bag (.88 oz.) bag put me off a bit. It is 133 calories for a pretty small-looking portion. That being said, when I dumped the contents out for picture taking, it didn't seem quite as bad as I thought it would be (entire contents of one bag pictured below). Any time nuts are a large component of some food, there is a boost in fat. In the case of these, there are 7.1 grams of fat per serving (and 3.1 grams of protein).
This sembei mix actually contains both almonds and peanuts. The peanuts are whole and coated in some sort of crispy shell which is strangely sweet. They resemble honey-roasted nuts without the honey flavor. Note that I believe they are sweetened with maltitol as well as sugar (both are ingredients). The sembei pieces are the thing that reminds me of something else. The closest food I can liken them to are sesame sticks with a nuttiness from almonds instead of sesame. They're super crispy, as are the nuts, and don't have that usual rice cracker taste or smell. In fact, when you sniff the mix, you smell peanuts.
These were good, but the peanut part is far too sweet and the almond component overwhelmed by the peanut flavor. It's not a bad mix at all, and I will easily finish the remaining 5 packets of the 6 in the entire bag. Frankly speaking, I prefer saltier nut flavors rather than sweet. These were also slightly expensive at the supermarket I picked them up in at 260 yen ($2.93) and I can't see going for them again. Someone with different tastes than me might really like them. They're definitely well-made, fresh, and offer depth of flavor, but just not my cup of tea.