Wednesday, August 25, 2010
If you have worked in a Japanese office, then there is a very high chance that you have had the experience of being given snacks or treats. Most of the time, such food items are purchased as souvenirs (omiyage) when a coworker travels for business or personal reasons. Often, you get seasonal or regional foods.
During the 12 years I worked in a Japanese office, there were many occasions on which I was given such snacks. I often asked the office ladies (it was always women who doled out treats as men did not serve food or drinks in a Japanese office), known as "O.L." in Japan, what I was getting because the packages did not describe the contents. The information about the food was usually on the box that it came in and I never saw the boxes themselves.
One day, I was handed something and asked the O.L., Tomomi, what I was being given. Tomomi was well-known for wanting to practice and improve her English and this gave her a chance to try and come up with the right words for a fairly simple conversational exchange. She told me that the food she was handing me was what sounded like "way-haas". After some good-natured confusion, I figured out that what she was saying was "wafers". In Japanese, wafers are ウェハース (we-haa-su). Now, every time I see wafers, I think "way-haas" instead of wafers.
Since I love way-haas, I was pleased to see this Crunky bar at an AM/PM convenience store. I don't remember exactly what it cost, but I think it was around 60 yen (66 cents). The bar is quite small at 6 cm x 5 cm (2.4 in. x 2 in) and has 75 calories.
It smells like a Crunky bar with a plain wafer scent mixed in. The texture is very crispy and it's quite dry. It's more solid than a regular wafer because of the relatively thick and firm chocolate filling. The filling is not a cream like most wafers. It's actually thin layers of Crunky chocolate crunch bar. It's not too sweet and has a nice chocolate flavor with a wheat-like wafer flavor. You can't really detect the malt puffs in the Crunky filling.
I liked this, as did my husband. It is a very "utilitarian" kind of treat because it's not exotic, super sweet or rich. A lot of the pleasure is in the texture and the lack of heavy sugary sweetness. If your really like wafers, this is definitely worth giving a try, but this may not be for everyone.