Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cratz Anchovy and Garlic

As regular readers may recall, I'm not a big fan of fish. In fact, faced with a heaping stack of dried fish snacks, I nearly lost my nerve awhile back. It's not necessarily that I hate the taste of fish, but just that I don't love it enough to pursue it for snacking. Snacking, unlike meals, is often (if not always) a form of eating for entertainment purposes rather than for sustenance. I'm sure that's how King Henvy VIII went from a fine figure of a man to the bloated mass of wife-beheading monarch that most of us know him as. Henry VIII knew how to have a good time, and I'm not talking about the fact that he had six wives.

It's only the awesomeness of Cratz that convinced me to try these despite the fact that this includes fish flavors. Well, there's that and the fact that the inclusion of garlic is bound to have a mitigating effect on even the most unsavory of flavors. I also must confess to having more than a little curiosity about anchovy, as it's something I've never eaten before. While I hardly expect this to give me the full effect, I figure it's a toe in the water before I jump in and swim with the whole anchovy experience. Part of the reason I want to try anchovy-based things is that bagna cauda seems to be on the rise as a food fad in Japan (I'm starting to see jars of it for sale in markets) and I am curious about it. It's pretty expensive though so I want to be sure that mild anchovy flavor doesn't turn me into a retching mess before I spend my yen on a jar of bagna cauda.

My apologies, incidentally, for not having a picture of the little bits of pretzels and almond themselves. I simply couldn't work up the energy in the life-sapping summer heat to take a picture of something which looks exactly like all the other Cratz flavors with a slightly different colored powder on the outside. Rest assured, if you click on the link to other reviews in the previous paragraph, that's what I was eating.

The first thing that hits you when you pop them in your mouth is an overall savory flavor focusing on, unsurprisingly, garlic. There are also other "meaty" flavors in there including chicken. The fishy flavor of the anchovies hits you a bit later, and increases as you eat more of them. It's not overwhelming, but is quite present. The balance of flavors is pretty much right where it should be for a salted snack with depth and interest without any element being overbearing.

I enjoyed these, and I could actually see buying them again. They're not my favorite Cratz, but for variety, I'd definitely go for them again in the future. The only thing is that I'm pretty sure this taught me nothing about anchovies, so I'm just going to have to break down one of these days and actually buy a jar/tin of them. Oh well.


XJ said...

I tried anchovies for the first time about 2 years ago when I worked part time at a pizza place. I actually used ONE anchovy, split it into a few pieces and placed it on my personal sized pizza. In small quantities I found it quite pleasant, as a beer drinker I can see how an anchovy pizza can be a good combo with beer. The whole salt/bitter balancing act. But having a whole anchovy on one slice of pizza is just kinda over kill for me. It's way too fishy and salty for me. I wish you luck!

Kattay said...

Heheh "bagna cauda" sounds like a some sort of Latin jig. Or the English Magna Carta.

Is it really salty, though? When I think "fish", "garlic", and "savory snack", overly salty American Chex Mix comes to mind.

Japan-Australia said...

I'm also a big fan of Cratz but don't know about the Anchovy and Garlic flavour. It could be good but doesn't sound like a snack I would pick out of choice!!

Japan Australia

Ikkin-bot said...

It is certainly not too hot here on Rebun Island.

Anonymous said...

I love pickled herring and anchovies, we would have it every New Years over a melting ice sculpture. I like it on pizza, just as long as it's not too salty.. I often wonder, what the heck does the name "Cratz" mean?

Orchid64 said...

I think "Cratz" is the unholy off-spring of "cracker" and "pretzel", but no part of these is "cracker" so it is a strange choice. However, this *is* Japan. ;-)

Thanks for commenting!