Sunday, August 18, 2019

Maruchan "Mike" Green Tanuki Soba Popcorn

On the social media outlet, "Reddit," - that's the one that all of the content aggregaters steal content from - I occasionally see a question to the effect of, "If you fell asleep for a hundred years, how do you think the world would have changed when you woke up?" Being in Japan was a bit like being asleep for 23 years and then waking up and finding out how America changed. One of the ways in which it changed was that popcorn was sold in a popped format, in flavors, and in shelf-stable packaging.

It still boggles my mind that things like "Boom Chicka Pop" sell already popped corn in bags for a high mark-up. One of the best things about popcorn is how amazing it tastes when it is fresh. A second amazing thing is how cheap it is. Third, it's incredibly easy to make. You just need a pot with a lid and some oil, a paper bag and a microwave oven, or an air popper. All of these are fast and easy and you can spend about 10 cents for a vat of fresh, fantastic-smelling popped corn. So, why pay more for old corn? Well, people are just that lazy now.

I will have to be fair and say that it may not only be about laziness. Bags of popcorn come in flavors that you can't easily make at home, though that's less true in the U.S. than of this Japanese variety. This is designed to taste like a particular variety of heat and eat soba sold by Maruchan.

My expectations of this were very low. I'm not a big fan of soba and this has katsuobushi in it. That's dried, shaved fish to you and me in the English-speaking world. It's not that I don't like katsuobushi as part of some dishes, but just that I don't want it on my popcorn. This popcorn does have a slightly fishy ending taste, but the front and middle is a really tasty savory mix of multiple flavors including garlic, green onions, kombu, pork, and seafood. None of those flavors comes through as itself. They are just one unified sense of savory flavor. It's addictive and very tasty.

While I was very pleased with the flavoring, the texture was less crispy than I'd like. It wasn't exactly stale, but it definitely wasn't at crunchy as fresh corn or as I'd hope for a salty snack. Still, I enjoyed this quite a lot and would definitely consider another snack with the same flavoring again. 


Saki said...

I want to eat

Unknown said...

I really love your reviews and I really wish there was someone like you giving their take on other snack foods.

I've been reading your blog for a long time and it has never gotten boring. Your reviews are always thoughtful and balanced. And the little glimpses into your new life in the US are insightful as well.