Friday, December 2, 2011

Yaokin Vegetable Salad Umaibo

Some time ago, I bought a variety pack of Yaokin salted snacks which included 5 varieties of "umaibo". "Umai" is "delicious" and "bo" means stick. I figured that this would cover pretty much all of the umaibo I'd ever want or need to sample. These are very cheap kid's snacks, and tend to be a bit greasy, nicely crispy, and fairly flavorful. Their main appeal is in the texture, which is a large airy corn puff, and their relatively strong natural corn flavor. Though they come in different flavors, but are generally a similar experience with a backbone of savory flavors like garlic, onion, chicken, beef and pork with another flavor layer added into the mix as the dominant one. Their main appeal, frankly, is that they are incredibly cheap and come with sometimes amusing package designs.

The reason I find myself reviewing another umaibo is not that the package is claiming that they have added more deliciousness (umai uppu!), but rather that my husband was handed a magazine in a plastic bag that also included this umaibo. Free snacks! All you have to do is be on the right street corner when someone is handing out a magazine which is almost all advertising and almost no actual content. If you want to buy one for yourself, they'll set you back about 10 yen (13 cents) at most supermarkets or snack shops.

Though this claims to be "vegetable" flavor, it smells rather fishy. I'm not sure why that should be because it doesn't taste fishy. In fact, it's hard to pin down what it tastes like at all because there is a general melange of spices. The ingredients list includes cabbage, onion, bell pepper, potato, and garlic seasonings. It tastes pretty good in the way that things that are very, very bad for you can taste. There is so much oil on the exterior that placing it on a tissue to take a picture left an oily spot on it.

Since I didn't buy this, I can't really speak to "buying it again", but if someone gave me another one for free, I'd certainly eat one again. All of these Yaokin snacks are economical salted snack niceness. There's no nutrition data on these, but I imagine they're made with damaged fats and have little of redeeming value. Still, the portion size is smallish and the texture is good and they are flavorful. Next time someone gives you one for free, I recommend taking it.


totoro said...

"Umaibo" is very cheap snack. So, when children go to summer festival or event, owner gives them as a little gift. Sometimes staple their advertisement on it. In my house, it is not so popular. 2-3weeks, it put in my snack box. So, sometimes I arranged it as a cover of the fried chicken or put it into soup like cracker.

Blue Shoe said...

Haha...I just love the name of these things. Basically "tasty sticks." Not so big on junk food, but the few times I had these things I enjoyed them.