Friday, October 14, 2011
Riska Moist Chocolate Corn Snack
There are a lot of things about actually living in Japan rather than acquiring Japanese snacks through various channels in another country which make the experience unique. One is that I can never help people out when they ask me how to find something outside of Japan. I have many opportunities to feel profoundly useless to people on multiple occasions. Another is that I have tastes which are "normalized" to Japanese food such that they don't strike me as profoundly unique compared to other reviewers. I've noticed that people who infrequently review Japanese snacks tend to rate them more highly than I do. I think this is because they are comparing them to a different standard than me.
This notion comes to mind as I review this snack because I'm sure I'm experiencing it differently than those who haven't sampled most of Riska's line of products. If you've never tried their salty corn snacks, you won't realize that this is simply a chocolate-covered version of their basic corn puff recipe. In fact, it tastes almost exactly like their corn potage snack without the savory powdery coating. These are covered with a very satisfying layer of chocolate which is quite sweet, but still potent. Quite often, these cheap (80 grams for 100 yen/2.8 oz. for $1.30) snacks have very weak chocolate flavor, but these are quite good and flavorful. The initial taste is a burst of milk chocolate sweetness, but it is chased by the corn snack flavor which feels like it just doesn't belong. I'm not sure if I perceive them that way because I so strongly associate this taste with salty snacks or if they really aren't a great pairing. It feels like something like chocolate-covered Doritos, only not nearly as gross.
I'm rather torn about these. They're soft and crunchy at the same time and very satisfying on a textural level. They're sweet and strong, but the flavors don't quite match on my taste buds. Frankly, they strike me as the sort of "junk food" that I could easily see eating the entire bag of and then being filled with regret that I spent 466 calories (about 12 calories per piece) on something that wasn't completely worth it. Then, I could see doing it again in the future. This is classic "good" bad food (including processed fat) which is easy to gobble down in great quantity, but if you pause and attempt to savor every bite, you'll probably not be nearly as happy with the experience. So, I'm offering this a conditional "happy" rating. If you're looking to pig out, these are great. If you're looking for a high quality experience to linger over, there's nothing to see here, move along.