Friday, February 15, 2013
Lemon Lucky Thin Crackers
One of the things that I'm finding overwhelming about being in the U.S. is the enormous variety of products. There are dozens of flavors of some things, and several flavors of nearly everything. The selection is often so overwhelming that you spend most of the time trying to tune out what you don't want and zero in on what you do. While selection is great, research has shown that having more than three choices changes the experience from one that is interesting to one that is stressful. Do you hear that Nabisco? We don't need more than 30 Oreo products available at any given time!
Part of the problem with having so many choices, besides the fact that you can end up like Mr. Burns standing around trying to decide between "ketchup" and "catsup", is that you tend to be so overwhelmed by choice that you have to zero in on a small subset and ignore everything else. Sometimes, what is in "everything else" may be of interest either economically or in terms of flavor. That is where these crackers come in. The truth is that I would almost certainly never choose to buy these if I were perusing a store that carried them because there's so much other food and this would look like a weird or boring option. I'd likely eliminate the section they were in and zero in on the more glamorous-looking options.
Fortunately, I was given these as a hostess gift by a visiting friend. When we have her over, she always asks if she can bring anything. We always say she doesn't need to bring anything, but, if she insists, she can bring something for dessert. This has turned out to be a good deal because she's of Chinese descent and often brings us family favorites that we are unfamiliar with. Her previous treat was a roll cookie which I really enjoyed. This time, it was these lemon crackers.
These are distributed by a company called "President Global Corporation" and made in Indonesia. They make a variety of these types of crackers including honeydew melon, chocolate, coconut, and sesame flavors. In terms of snacks, they also sell rice crackers and various other cookies and wafers. Beverages, noodles, and other more mundane food offerings are also a part of their line-up. Though I do not know where my friend got these, after receiving them, I noted that they were available at 99 Ranch Market. What was even better is that they are only 99 cents (92 yen) a box, so they are an economical choice if you want to experiment.
The crackers smell pleasantly lemony and look like a thin version of a Ritz. The top is lightly sprinkled with sugar. The flavor is a very pleasant mixture of a basic cracker with light sweetness and real lemon flavor that is at just the right level to be present, but not strong enough to seem like you're eating something that furniture polish has been splashed onto. The texture is light and they are pleasantly crispy, though not as brittle as a saltine.
No one is more surprised than me that these are so good. They are quite addictive, in fact, and I think they'd pair well with a cup of tea as a light snack. Saying "light" is not to be confused with "low calorie" as the whole small box (100 grams/3.5 oz.) is 415 calories. They also are not "healthy" as the ingredients list starts with flour followed by sugar then vegetable oil (pal or coconut). The lion's share of what you are eating is a refined carb, sugar, and a hydrogenated fat. If you can exercise portion control, however, that should not be a problem.
I really liked these and will absolutely try another flavor in the near future. If you are a fan of more elaborate treats rather than something relatively simple and clean, these may not float your boat. These are nothing like the sugar, flavor-blasted stuff that tends to be more popular in the United States. They are subtle and delicate and not nearly as sweet as a cookie nor as salty as a cracker. However, I think they're well worth a sampling if you can pick up a box for cheap.