Thursday, November 11, 2010
Kameda Seika Cheese Rich Arare
Sometimes I wonder what companies believe the average I.Q. of customers is. On the back of this bag of cheese rice crackers with almonds, there is an illustration and instructions telling you how to manage to get the bag open. I wonder if they imagine we're all sitting around looking at our snack bags scratching our heads like confused chimps trying to workout how to access the salty goodness within.
In order to stop us from having a fatal aneurysm from the mental storm required to figure out how to open the bag, they give us a picture and tell us what to do. After all, you can't have your stupid customers dropping dead from the mental energy they have to expend trying to figure out how to get the bag open. No one would be around to buy more snacks!
I guess this could mean they are trying to expand their demographic. Maybe they're hoping monkeys will actually start buying snacks and that they will require illustrated information. It'd certainly help boost sales in light of Japan's rapidly shrinking population.
At any rate, I resisted these hard and crunchy sembei (arare) for awhile because I thought no one would be interested in reading yet another review of a cheesy salted snack. Then I caught a cold and figured that I was interested in eating another cheesy salty snack and I don't care if anyone wants to read about it or not. Harrumph. Sorry, colds make me grumpy.
Because I was still on the tail end of my cold when I sampled this, I couldn't really smell it, but I could taste it and it was very, very good. The little triangles are crunchy and a bit hard, but easy to bite into. They taste cheesy in an intense but not overbearing manner. If you think of a classic Cheez-it flavor without the fake elements, you'd come close to this. They taste like salty cheddar. I can't imagine a better accompaniment to an alcoholic or soft drink than these, provided that you like cheese (and who doesn't?).
I found these at Inageya supermarket for 178 yen ($2.18), but you can find them almost anywhere at the moment. Each bag has 5 small packets of 17 grams each (.6 oz.) at 77 calories per packet (entire portion pictured in this post) so they're great for portion control as long as you can resist tearing through more than one bag at a time. There are only about 3 almonds in every little packet, but that's really not a problem because the crackers themselves are the shining beacon of this snack. Get them while you can. The product has a 4 month life cycle then will go away for awhile.
Note that the back of the individual packets have little recipe use recommendations. They suggest you sprinkle them over salads, onto pasta, doria (cheesy rice), scrambled eggs, or even use them in a chocolate fondue. Except for the last suggestion (but I'm conservative about chocolate and cheese), I think those are all actually pretty good ideas.