Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kameda Seika Special Soy Sauce Sembei

These days, the old sembei well has been running dry. Lately, it seems that the only things of interest that I haven't tried are those which are made with shrimp or has little dollops of fake cheese on it and an almond. I hate shrimp, and those little fake cheese ones scare me a little. They look like someone put hardened Cheez Whiz on them. My guess is that I'll get to those scary crackers eventually, but I decided to try some conventional soy sauce (shoyu) style sembei. Often, I shy away from the mainstream items because they seem less interesting than the limited edition products.

Strangely enough, this is a "limited edition" soy sauce sembei. According to the Kameda Seika web site, it'll be around for only 120 days. I'm guessing this is a spring flavor release. Loads of wasabi and pepper showed up in winter and I guess soy sauce is more of a warm weather thing when it comes to rice crackers.

This is promoted as an "original" and "special" sauce. Perhaps I should try it with lettuce, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. Of course, "special sauce" can conjure up all sorts of far less savory associations, but I leave those for Marvo at The Impulsive Buy. He's the king of bodily fluid joke writing. And, I mean that in the best possible way.

In the past, I never cared much for soy sauce sembei because it always seemed too heavy on the salty sauce and too light on complex flavor. These sembei are quite a bit more complex than what I've experienced in the past. They do have that familiar baked rice cracker smell and taste that a lot of people dislike, but the crackers are crisp, fresh, and spicy. They even have a little heat in them that you can really sense by the end of a two-pack of crackers. The spices aren't detailed in the ingredients list (likely to prevent trade secrets from being revealed), but I'm pretty sure I detect garlic and Chinese red chili.

Each bag has 24 crackers and two crackers of about 7 cm. (2.8 in.) in diameter and have 35 calories. These are a bit on the strong side flavor-wise, so they are best consumed with a beverage and in small portions. I count this as a good thing as you can be satisfied with just two or four because they're so flavorful. I recommend them to anyone with a taste for salty and slightly hot sembei.

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