Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Omai Oh!tsumami Pasta Snack

I'm probably one of two or three people in Asia right now who does not really care for noodles of any kind, which is rather a shame since I'm surrounded by ramen shops emanating the most delicious scents from pork bone broth. It could have something to do with the fact that I'm a world class food dropper and it's a struggle to get through a day's eating without dropping a portion of my meal onto my shirt. No matter how careful I am, it appears that I am incapable of keeping my food balanced on whatever utensil I am using to shove it into my mouth.

Considering the wet and unwieldy nature of pasta, my consumption of it is tempting fate to the very limit. If I can't manage to eat a forkful of rice without allowing it to plummet to my shirt, one can only imagine the stain patterns I could create when trying to eat noodles. It's not really the taste of noodles that is the issue, nor even really the texture, but perhaps my own lack of grace when eating it, or at least that's what I thought.

I purchased this "pasta" snack (168 yen/$2.06) with the firm belief that there is really nothing "pasta" about it. If you look at the pictures on the package, it looks like square crackers (true), almonds (true) and spiral crackers (not true). It appears that the maker, Denroku, wants to infuse the spiral crackers with something which resembles pasta and the spiral deals have a starchy uncooked pasta thing going on.

The main flavor of the mix is cheese and tomato sauce. The packaging calls this "pizza tomato" flavor, and it does remind me of the shakers full of "pizza spice" that used to be on offer at really bad pizza shops in the small town that I grew up in. We had to have those shakers of pizza flavoring to flavor the slabs of styrofoam-like pre-made crusts slathered with humdrum sauce and liberally topped with low quality mozzarella cheese. The badness of that pizza was awesome, and I find myself craving it on occasion even now.

Each little packet is only 18 grams (.63 oz.) and 92 calories. It's a tiny amount (as you can see by the picture of the bowl higher up), but should satisfy the need for a small salty snack. My response to this is mixed. I found it quite tasty except for that starchy flavor on the spirals. I love almonds and I enjoyed the flavor, but I think I might go for something else rather than this in the future. That being said, if this stays on the market, I could see picking it up on occasion when I had a hankering for that pizza seasoning that I knew in my youth.


Kevcham said...

This is a very interesting blog! Thank you for doing it.

Anonymous said...

Me too.. I'm not a fan of Ramen either, I just like the top part, but... every once in a while I love to have soba noodles in the summer, in fact, I detest the smell of those little bags of Ramen noodles, they give off this faux penchant smell of artificialness... I don't know why I hate the smell of cup of noodles!

I've tried a variety snack before, but I haven't had this one yet.

Ejia said...

As befitting of my asian heritage, I love noodles dearly. I even love sodium-loaded instant ramen, but that's probably because of my starving student phase, when cup noodles become one of the basic food groups. I find that a tiny amount of sesame oil (like about a teaspoon) and a hard boiled egg make instant noodles taste vastly better.

I actually used to eat uncooked instant/quick noodles as a snack once in a while, before I found out that there were actually noodle-type junk foods around.

Helen said...

I tried these a few weeks ago and I really liked them. I like the variety in the packet and the crunch. I didn't even mind the "pasta." I hope these ones stick around for a while.

Sparrow said...

Why not order ramen/pho/soba from the shops, eat the toppings and drink the broth, and ignore the noodles completely?

Orchid64 said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments!

elle marie: I don't mind artificialness. It all smells like evil goodness, but it doesn't always taste as good as it smells. I've not sniffed nor eaten cup of noodles since living in the U.S., and even then it was a long time ago!

Helen: I think they'll probably hang around for 4 months. If you like them, you may want to stock up!

Sparrow: The broth is usually salty with fat swimming around in it, and the toppings tend to be on the sparse side (very tiny amounts of meat, and you have to pay extra for boiled egg). I had Pho quite recently, because I wanted to try Vietnamese food and it looked interesting, and ate the chicken and drank about half of the broth. I fished out the vegetables, what little there was in the bowl. I just don't see the point in ordering something when the main component isn't something I favor, especially when other options are available and I can get better value for what I spend (food which I may eat all of!).