Thursday, March 17, 2011
Shiroi Fuusen Chocolate Cream Sembei
I've spoken before about how I'm rather dumb about packaging even though I really should know better. I'm about to reveal that I'm even stupider than people may suspect, though if you're thinking my I.Q. hovers around 80 or less, then perhaps not. Putting a picture of an enticing food on a package even though it isn't what I'm buying (like ice cream on a yogurt package) is one way to sucker me in. Another way is to put a pot of tea. As soon as the idea of consuming a sweet with tea is nearly irresistible to me. So, I bought this because of a piece of clip art that set off a food cue in my brain. Tea + sweet = buy!
Now that I have laid bare how easy it is to manipulate me into purchasing a product, I will try to mitigate that to some extent by saying that I probably would have tried these anyway because of their unusual look and composition. They are blindingly white crackers with a bittersweet chocolate filling. When I say, "blinding", I'm not kidding. When you die, this is the color of the light you're going to find yourself walking towards (unless you were "bad", then I have no idea what color light you'll be walking into).
I found these at Inageya supermarket for 168 yen for a bag of 21 individually wrapped crackers. Each is 16.7 calories, which is pretty good considering you're eating two crackers per serving with a smattering of filling. Note that "smatter" is not an exaggeration. There really isn't much, but that's okay.
When you remove the crackers and give them a sniff, you smell the chocolate filling. The crackers themselves are crispy and slightly salty but pretty much have no other flavor. The chocolate filling, when you encounter a higher concentration of it, is bittersweet and has a smooth, rich texture. However, there is so little of it and it sits largely in the center that only about one bite carries a significant chocolate impact. That bite is actually a very nice combination of salty and modestly sweet.
I'm slightly torn about these. I like them well enough when I get a solid combo of chocolate and lightly salted outer cracker and the textural mixture of the cool, creamy filling and crispy crackers is nice. There's also something a bit nifty about eating something that looks like an inverted Oreo cookie. Ultimately, I will finish the bag, but I can't see buying another. If there just were more filling so that the flavor was spread over more of the crackers, I think these would be a repeater.