Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Calbee Biyori Snack Osatsu
Calbee is a very large producer of salted snacks in Japan. Their potato chips line the salted snack food aisles more than any other manufacturers. The company employs nearly 1400 people. You'd think one of them could design a professional web site for this product, or that they could afford to hire some independent contractor to do a nice site for it, but the site for this looked like an old Geocities account (the site has gone away since I wrote this review so I'm sorry there's no link to it).
I found this 20 gram (.7 oz.) bag for 40 yen (44 cents) at Seiyu supermarket. Seiyu has a far more impressive snack section than any of my local stores and I go there with my husband once every two months and compile a huge pile of snacks for future reviewing. I still haven't worked through everything that I bought in the last trip. It appealed to me on two levels. First of all, it's sweet potato and, second, it's 103 calories for the whole bag. I like to keep my snacking calories no higher than 100 so the portion size really called to me.
These are heavily processed chips made with sweet potato and flour. They're seasoned with a dusting of sweet potato powder and a hint of sugar and are very lightly sweet and have a whisper of salt. Air should be listed as an ingredient given how light they are, but I'm not complaining. They're pleasantly crispy and fun to eat. I recommend eating them slowly by letting the chip rest on your tongue for several seconds so the subtle flavor sinks in.
Flavor-wise, I wish that the sweet potato flavor was somewhat more intense, but on the whole I really liked these. They make an enjoyable light treat and are fresh and crispy. I'd definitely consider keeping a bunch of these one hand for calorie-controlled snacking.