Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kameda Roast Onion Kongari Snack

When I was a kid, I turned my nose up at things like onions. They were too strong tasting and I'd get annoyed when my parents would order pizzas with onions, or worse, slimy mushrooms. While I can't say I ever got into mushrooms (though I don't hate them anymore), I've grown to adore onions and probably eat them raw or in various dishes nearly everyday.

When I saw this "roast onion" snack at Okashi no Marche discount snack store for a paltry 100 yen ($1.16), I happily tossed it in my basket. The strange thing is that I had not seen this for sale at any convenience stores before and it is clearly one of Kameda's "convenience store (conbini) only" products. You can tell the difference because of the size. Conbini-only items often are small and meant to be single servings. This is 42 grams (about 1.5 oz.) and 174 calories.

There are two different crackers in the mix. The flat ones are all onion flavor and the round balls are supposed to be red pepper flavored. The onion chips taste a lot like the type of french-fried onion pieces you can buy in markets and use in cooking or food preparation. They are very "oniony", but also quite tasty if you love onion. The little ball-shaped crackers are not as hot as I expected them to be given that they have visible pepper flakes on them. They are a mixture of savory flavors, including soy sauce, parsley, and meat flavorings with a small amount of pepper heat. Eaten separately, you can clearly discern the flavor of each cracker. Eaten together, the onion nearly overwhelms both completely.

The crackers are fresh and have a strong flavor and quite enjoyable. That being said, they're not the sort of thing you sit around hankering for. I love onion, but perhaps not at this level of roasted intensity as a snack. I think onion works so well in cooking because it adds dimension to dishes. As the sole component and featured flavor, it is only good in small doses. I ate half this bag, really like it, and closed it up to finish another day.

If your really love onion, by all means, give this a try. However, I recommend having it with a drink and not having to kiss or speak in close quarters with anyone after eating it. I would buy this again, but not often, and not soon.

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