Monday, April 23, 2012

Mintia Rich Grapefruit


Prolific movie reviewer Roger Ebert once said something to the effect that what he wanted out of a movie was for it to be something that he had not seen before. Given how many movies he digested as a movie reviewer, this would become an increasingly difficult bill to fill. The more active experience you have with something, the harder it becomes for the next experience to impress you.

Note that I say "active" experience and not "experience". Most of us sleepwalk through our sensory lives. We wake up and barely taste the expensive coffee we pick up at the local coffee chain shop. Well, when I say, "we", I mean other people. I make an active effort to attend to the taste, smell, and texture of every food I consume. This is the gift and curse of being a food blogger, as I'm sure Roger Ebert can't watch a movie without attending to various details that most of us pedestrian viewers fail to notice (and therefore can just enjoy our movie without any extraneous nonsense).

In no way am I suggesting that my sense of taste is refined from attending to all that I eat, but rather that it becomes pretty jaded. Things that people who are not food reviewers enjoy will be those which I find lacking because I'm paying perhaps too much attention. One of the reasons that foodies, and I'm not a "foodie", but more of a "junk foodie", seek food further and further afield of their usual scope is that they're bored. They start to think that "different" is "better" because this is valuable to them personally, just as Roger Ebert embraced and endorsed movies which I found unappealing because, for him, "different" was "better".

That's a big intro for a review of the Japanese equivalent of Tic-Tacs, but I'm making a point about all Japanese food and snacks. These are awesome in part because they aren't the little smooth pellets that shook in ones pocket throughout childhood, though they do essentially fill the same niche. The main difference is that Mintia plays into the higher Japanese tolerance for sour things and a mixture of savory and sweet together. Tic-Tacs play closer to sweetness, which suits American palates better.  Mintia tends to reflect basic Japanese cuisine's flavors. Japanese people like things less sweet, more sour, and more bitter because they're used to it. Jaded palates like mine like these things a lot because they're bored.

That being said, I like Mintia because the flavors are usually pretty intense. Every tiny little sugar-free pellet of this "rich grapefruit" flavor is sour without making your mouth pucker and sweet enough for balance. It evens tastes like "real" grapefruit to a fair extent, though without any of the intense bitterness of the real deal. The first ingredient is "grapefruit sugar" followed by a scary cocktail of sweeteners that the likes of me does not mind but those that are sensitive to them may want to avoid. The packaging tells us that there are some sort of grapefruit chips in them as well as some sort of "grapefruit aroma" addition. They do smell good, though I doubt many people other than myself will be sniffing at them. You are, after all, normal rather than a bizarre junk foodie.

My only "problem" with Mintia, and I've never had a bad experience with them, is that I tend to want to eat a whole package at once. At 24 calories per 50 teeny tiny pellets, this isn't much of an expense calorically, and at around 100-120 yen ($1.23-$1.47) per pack, it's not hard on the wallet. It is, however, hard on the tongue as these are closer to the rough texture of a pressed powdered candy than the slick smoothness of a Tic-Tac and tend to be abrasive on your sensitive body parts. I'd definitely buy these again, but I'd have to wait until after my tongue has healed. 




1 comment:

gossip_bangkok said...

I love the soda flavor one! Thanks for your review :)