Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kadou USA American Fried Potato Snack

That's one happy potato, and it's nice to see that he comes in peace.

There is very little about the name of this product that rings true. First of all, it's not from the U.S.A. and the snack is not an American one. This isn't terribly shocking as the Japanese love to call things "American" which are not from America. That's okay because I'm pretty sure Americans love to call things "Japanese" which are not (not to mention many other nationalities).

The second thing about the name which is odd is that it says "fried" when these really seem to be some sort of baked processed food. They aren't greasy on the outside and don't taste particularly fried. Also, the color is very pale and if they were fried I'd expect uneven browning around the edges rather than uniform color. Finally, there is very little in the way of actual "potato". The first ingredient is flour. You don't run across "potato" until the fourth item on the list.

This is a kid's snack which I probably never would have purchased on my own, though I'd guess it costs as little as 20-40 yen per bag (25-50 cents). This came with my Okashi no Machioka "lucky bag." I just know these sorts of potato things aren't very good based on past experience.Though this is made by a company called Kadou (which has no web presence), it's distributed by kid's snack maker Yaokin. Most of Yaokin's stuff looks like this snack with bright packaging, small portions, and cheaply designed cartoon mascots.

These taste about as you'd expect. They're salty and fairly bland, though there is a little bit of a potato kick to them. In fact, they are very similar to the pebbly vegetable Calbee snack without the little multi-colored vegetable lumps. The portion size is very small at only 10 grams (.35 oz.), and if you were in absolute despair for a salted snack, you might be happy to have these because they're crispy and salty, but they're just isn't much else going on with them.


Ikkin-bot said...

I like the idea that someone could be in absolute despair for a salty snack!

lowlight said...

Perhaps you may be reading a bit too much into the reasoning behind the name of the product; it might be possible that the manufacturer wasn't trying to be literal. If Engrish.com has taught me anything, I've found that the Japanese tend to put a lot of stock into the concept of "figurative context" rather than literal description (look at Pocari Sweat).

In this case, if I had to guess, I'm thinking that the manufacturer may have been trying to suggest the connotation that this product embodies the "spirit" of the classical American snack: the french fry. Perhaps, suggesting that this product was supposed to be as good as the real thing? Granted, based on your review, it failed in every way to embody that feeling.