Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Glico Bacon Pretz
One of the lessons I teach my students is about the environment and food. It explains that many forest are cut down to create pastures for cattle so that we can have cheap burgers at places like MacDonald's. At the end of that lesson, there's a list of foods and students are asked if they are willing to sacrifice eating those foods in order to reduce the damage done to the environment. Bacon or ham is listed, and my students say they would never give it up. That being said, they say they don't eat a lot of it, but they do like to add small amounts of bacon to various dishes to enhance flavor.
Bacon is such an intensely flavorful food that it lends itself well to being a seasoning rather than a main dish, and it can be a truly wonderful flavoring in salted snack foods when used properly. I've had some good and not so good experiences with bacon-flavored salted snacks in Japan, and I'm pleased to say that these Pretz pretzels sticks fall into the "good" category.
I picked up this 48 gram (1.7 oz.) bag at a local market for 98 yen ($1.09) where it was on sale with another "new" flavor which didn't really light my fire, tomato. It's not that I don't like tomato, but rather that I'd rather get my tomato flavor from, well, tomatoes. I also think there's a chance tomato will be "ketchup" when it comes to salted snack seasoning. There are a plethora of delicate 10 cm. (about 4 in.) long sticks in the bag and it conveniently has a Ziploc-style top to allow you to reseal it.
When you open the bag, it smells rather "hammy" inside. The sticks are so thin and delicate that it's easy to break them. They have a very "fresh" yeast-like flavor and are just salty enough. The bacon flavor is very present, but not overbearing and the finish is of black pepper. They're not hot at all though and there's no cumulative heat effect. The ingredients include pork extract, soy sauce seasoning, onion powder, and bacon extract.
These were really good pretzels. They're not sublime or "to die for", but if I were in the market for a salted snack, I'd definitely add these to my basket again. The seasoning is really well-balanced and there are a lot of sticks for the 229 calories in the entire bag.