Friday, March 19, 2010

Bakauke Cocoa Sembei


I've had wonderful experiences with Bakauke sembei and was drawn to this cocoa sembei the minute I saw it. If nothing else, I love the package design. The mascots in black look beautiful against the sea of dark cocoa powder and the gold lettering adds a sense that these are going to be rich and chocoaltey. All in all, one expects a pretty high class experience.

I found these at the discount snack shop, Okashi no Machioka. They were 178 yen ($1.95) for a bag of 18 crackers (9 packs of 2 rice crackers). I was further intrigued by these because each 2-pack is only 33.6 calories (yes, it actually says "point six" in the nutritional information). Chocolate treats for a low calorie cost has convinced more than one woman to sample a food hoping to find the holy grail of chocolate; that is, the enjoyment without the high price of cocoa-based goodness.


Each cracker is fairly generously sized, and smells faintly of cocoa powder. They don't have any of the telltale smells one associates with rice crackers or baked rice products. The taste is relatively mild in some ways, and somewhat blunt in others. The cocoa flavor is pure, like cocoa powder, but there is relatively little sweetness and salt. This makes the experience feel somewhat flat when you aren't hitting on a pocket of salt on the exterior of the cracker. Both sugar and salt enhance flavor, and I think this really could have benefited from a bit more of one, the other or both.

I wanted to like these. They have a great texture and aroma. They're low in calories and sugar (they're made with Sucralose artificial sweetener) and they have lots of cocoa. Despite having all the components one might want, it just didn't come together to please my taste buds. The flavor was just too thin. I'll certainly finish the bag, but I won't buy them again.

If you're interested in downloading desktop pictures of each calendar month from Bakauke featuring their mascots, you can get one here.

7 comments:

Dollars to Yen said...

Who doesn't want chocolate without the calories? I guess we're all searching for that holy grail. Maybe sembei wasn't the way to go.

Orchid64 said...

I want it without the calories, but with the taste. ;-)

Thanks for commenting!

C said...

"The mascots in black look beautiful against the sea of dark cocoa powder and the gold lettering adds a sense that these are going to be rich and chocoaltey."

Orchid...You crack me up!!! :D

-Connie

Girl Japan: April Marie said...

Bummer on the taste.. I love the Kinako version, they are only 15 calories and I can site and have more than a handful at one sitting (while watching a movie) without too much quilt....

MAN.. I was hoping these were good, I'm getting tired of kinako... whaaaaaaahwwww

Orchid64 said...

Connie: I do my best. ;-)

April Marie: I love the kinako ones, too. Mind you, these weren't bad. They just felt like they needed something more. Unfortunately, what they needed was something that would have made them more fattening. ;-)

Thanks to both of you for commenting!

Girl Japan: April Marie said...

OH MY GOSH.. what the hell is wrong with me... I said "site" and said "quilt" instead of "guilt"...

I'm losing it..... WHY do I keep on doing that when I comment.... crap.

Orchid64 said...

April Marie: I call that the brain to keyboard disconnect. If you're a touch typist, this happens so easily. You think words but your brain sends something else to your fingers and you type something weird. I do it all the time!