Tuesday, February 2, 2016


 If you like potatoes and peanuts – and I suspect you do – then you’re probably going to enjoy these exotic-seeming satay flavored potato chips, bought at the local Thai supermarket, complete with Thai script and all.

They tasted fine, but only vaguely of peanuts, and the list of ingredients simply specifies “artificial flavors” so you can make what you like of that.  And then despite the apparent exoticism, you’ll see they’re made by Lays, a company owned by PepsiCo, which of course doesn’t seem exotic in the least.
These, bought at a supermarket in Little Tokyo, seemed rather more outré,:

 I wonder if that’s meant to say ridge cut rather than rich cut, but I’m not sure, and certainly I liked the salt and seaweed, whether “the Japanese” or not.  And they tasted great.  The was plenty of “mouth feel” and after I’d eaten them my lips felt both tingly and a little bit numb.  I suspect this was not because of the salt or seaweed but rather the MSG and chili powder.  Tree nuts were in there too, according to the label.
And then there are these little suckers:  “Kasugai Peanut & You.”   Me?  Well sure - I was mostly attracted by that image of the shrimp on the pack. 

I will say this for Japanese snack-makers – they’ve really got that whole CRUNCH thing down.  Here there’s a brittle, more or less spherical shell that’s sweet, salty, with the taste of shrimp a long way back in the mix, the flavor comes from “shrimp powder,” and there’s a peanut loose at the center of the shell.  Is it just me or do they look like very, very small potatoes?

I suppose exoticism is always a movable feast.  No doubt the Kasugai company doesn’t seem all that exotic if you’re in Japan, in fact they seem to specialize in gummy candy.  Well, I suppose somebody has to.

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