Showing posts with label peanuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peanuts. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Glico Pocky Snoopy Package and Cart (product information)

One of the quaint things about riding the Shinkansen is that people sometimes come by pushing a cart with food. I haven't ridden trains in the U.S., so it's possible that it happens here as well. The whole custom of doing so reminds me of old-style rail travel (especially in Europe/the U.K.) in which people used to eat food served in a similar style.

One thing which is not so old-fashioned is the idea of a Peanuts cart which sells Pocky - some of it in special packaging. It's a cute idea. I'm sure that the Pocky are the same as usual and that they can be purchased via other outlets, but it would be nifty to see one of these while actually on a shinkansen (bullet train).

The Pocky that is contained in the special Peanuts packages is largely the same flavors as standard Pocky issues. There's a "cookie crunch" version (on the right) which I hadn't seen before, but it doesn't sound like a particularly inspiring flavor. If you're a Peanuts fan, these are going to make a pretty cool collectible, though not as cool as the cart (which would be a lot harder to get your hands on).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tolteca Japanese Peanuts (Regular)

On my other blog, I mentioned that there are lot of things in Japan which are labeled as "American" which an actual America would not recognize as part of their culture. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, "American coffee", which is what the Japanese call anemically watered down and weak brew. My experience with American coffee is that it is utterly rank and disgusting (cheap supermarket stuff sold in big cans) or fairly good (coffee house stuff like Peet's). It is generally not weak, though I wouldn't be surprised if some places are selling a puny distillation in order to save money, especially places with low prices and bottomless cups.

I figured that it is only fair that, if I'm going to point out all of the stuff that is labeled as American which is not actually American, I should also recognize that there are things in the U.S. which are labeled as Japanese which are not recognizable as being so. When I saw these "Japanese peanuts" in a local liquor store (no, I wasn't getting loaded, my husband wanted a beer to drink with dinner), I knew that this was a chance to even the score. I lived in Japan for 23 years and never saw a peanut that looked like these, and I see them for sale all over the place in California stores.

Word is that these were invented by a Japanese immigrant in Mexico, but I could not verify the truth of that story. I can say that these appear to be of Hispanic origin and are sold in areas which carry a lot of Mexican food. They're also usually pretty cheap. I bought this 4 oz. (113.4 g.) bag for $1.29 (104 yen).

When I opened the bag, they smelled vaguely of peanuts. Though the ingredients list includes soy sauce, I didn't really smell that component. It seems that the shell masks some of the nut scent, but not all of it. The outside of each peanut is coated with a smooth, super crunchy shell. It doesn't taste particularly salty or strong, but there is about the tiniest whisper of soy sauce, sugar, and flour (wheat an rice) flavor there. Frankly, I had hoped for a stronger flavor on the coating.

It seems that the coating on this particular brand and variety of Japanese peanuts mainly lends texture. You get a pretty good solid crunch and a bit of a shattered mess if you don't pop it into your mouth all at once. While there was certainly nothing so "wrong" about these, I wasn't compelled to think I'd want to buy them again. In fact, I'd strongly prefer regular peanuts if for no other reason than they'd be saltier than this and not offer so much in the way of useless carbohydrates. That being said, there are spicy "Japanese peanut" varieties out there which I believe may hold greater promise. If these weren't invented by a Japanese immigrant, then I imagine that they are "Japanese" mainly because they incorporate soy sauce and rice flour. The only thing I found particularly Japanese about them was that they were bland, and the Japanese tend not to like very strong flavors.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tohato Tyrant Habanero Spicy Cheese Crackers

Have you ever kept a pepper in the refrigerator for far too long? They get all soft and shriveled up. In the end, you've got a flaccid item which is a shadow of its former self. If the red pepper graphic on this bag were truly representative of the flavor of the snack inside, it'd look like one of the aforementioned aged peppers. 

Of course, I was unaware of this when I decided to pick up this discounted bag of salted snacks at "My Basket". I figured it was part of the Tyrant Habanero line which generally does a good job of burning my mouth until I get an endorphin rush. For the discounted price of about 66 yen (85 cents), it was hard to not buy them, especially with the promise of "spicy cheese" with some heat. I should have guessed that there was a reason that they were discounted. On the bright side, there are only 215 calories for the whole bag.

These crackers have a modest cheese flavor which is heavy on the sour powdered milk flavor and weak on the delicious cheese pungency. That is chased rather meekly by a bit of a hot pepper bite. It's actually not so much a bite as a half-hearted nip at the air rather than draws any blood. The crackers are hollow, but not as crispy as their American cousin, the Goldfish cracker. There are also a smattering of peanuts mixed in, but not enough to give you some with every small mouthful. They also are so much heavier than the crackers that they fall to the bottom so you can't really eat them as a mix unless you empty the 45-gram (1.6 oz.) bag into a dish or burrow to the bottom of the narrow bag. 

These are not bad at all, but with the evil jack-o-lantern pepper on the front and the promise of "habanero", I expected something in the way of flavorful teeth. If you are the type of person who wants to fool yourself into thinking you can handle hot peppers, this is the ticket for you. If you want something that'll leave your mouth burning for a little while, give them a pass. Personally, I wouldn't have them again.