Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Snow Brand Salami Baby Cheese

There's a well-known sequence in the Simpsons where Homer fantasizes about "the Land of Chocolate". In fact, it's so well known among Simpsons geeks that a video game has even been built around the Land of Chocolate. If the Simpsons had originated in Japan, I think that Homer may have been merrily skipping through the land of processed cheese and drinking from cloudy fountains of fresh whey.

I have no firsthand evidence that Japanese people love soft blocks of whey-infused cheese product, but the plethora of it in markets forces me to reach the conclusion that they must. I guess it's also possible that the long shelf life means that it just sits there for months unpurchased, but is just as fresh and tasty as the day it was wrapped whenever it happens to be purchased.

Since I've been eating and reviewing a lot of sweets lately, I decided to give another "baby cheese" product a sample, particularly since my initial experience was generally a positive one. However, choosing "salami" is a little risky as marrying meat-products and processed cheese can result in very unfortunate offspring.

The ingredients reveal that there is some salami in these. You wouldn't know it to look at it though since there are only bare specks of what could be meat embedded in the tiny pale bricks. Most of the salami flavor comes from ham seasoning rather than from actual meat. Each little foil-wrapped block is 18 grams and 60 calories and is enough to top two crackers.

The cheese smells like salami and tastes very strongly of it. In fact, the salami flavor is so intense that you don't get much of the cheese flavor at all. It's more like eating mild salami in a softer format that can be melted or spread. The initial bite seems so strong that you might think it's artificial flavor, but it's actually real salami flavor. It's decent for what it is. The blocks are soft and easy to eat. It's not real cheese by any stretch of the imagination, but it's pleasant enough to eat, especially if you want a snack of some substance.

As a side note, this cheese is made by a company which has been plagued by scandals of various types. Snow Brand altered expiration dates on their butter, sold spoiled milk, mislabeled beef products, and food poisoned people with its products. Given their track record, it might seem a bit risky buying their processed cheese. However, I figure that a company that has already been caught in so many difficulties is less likely to be pulling any funny business now. Of course, I could be wrong, but this cheese hasn't had any ill effects on me. I probably won't buy this again, but not because I didn't enjoy it a little. It's mainly because I rarely crave salami flavors, and there are so many other baby cheeses waiting for me to sample them.


Kelly said...

Is it spicy like salami? I've never really been a salami person. I only eat it begrudgingly on pizza.

Bryan said...

I actually like salami, but don't eat it very frequently except pizza like most people. I dunno what it is with cheese and Japan - i forgot if i asked if you've already reviewed the kamaboko fish and cheese tubes. Those were interesting.

Joshua said...

I love this cheese but constantly forget to check the calories on it. It's the perfect snack to have after exercise anyway. 60cals isn't that bad I guess. Nice review!!

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Joshua, and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

The calorie counts really aren't bad at all, and I'm sure there's some nice protein in this sort of snack.