Asian snacks are wack

October 27, 2017 — by Austin Wang and Alex Yang

Reporters try out some interesting Asian snacks and review them.

Curry Lemonade, Roasted Baby Crabs and Candy Squid. These are only some of the things we saw in a Buzzfeed article with what seemed like a never ending list of weird-sounding yet curiosity-sparking Japanese snack foods.

Filled with questions, we went to the nearby Mitsuwa Japanese Supermarket to look for some of the most unusuallooking snacks. As a rating system, we decided to give each snack two A to F scaled grades. One for taste and texture, one for the weirdness of the snack.

The first thing we picked up was something called “Cabbage Taro” flavored snacks. Shaped like little cheese puffs, they ended up tasting OK. Nor did they end up being that weird. Sure we couldn’t put our finger on anything that tasted similar, but still the flavor and presentation just weren’t in any sense “weird.” Although the slightly creepy frog mascot put on the packaging was interesting, it needed more depth in the taste and texture department to earn a place as an odd Japanese snack.

It ended up being a C in both taste and weirdness.

Next, we picked up “Corn Potage” soup flavored, tube-shaped snacks with images of Doraemon, a Japanese anime character who looks like a robotic cat, plastered on the wrappers.

This one wasn’t bad —it actually tasted extremely close to corn potage despite looking more like a weapon than a snack food. The yellow color made the snack look deceptively salty, yet it was surprising to find that that snack was actually more on the sweet side. In the end, it wasn’t unpleasant at all. This was more like a B for taste and weirdness.

Our second to last item was a bag of soybean, or edamame,  shaped and flavored snacks.

Although containing and interesting looking mascot on the bag, the snacks themselves left a lot to be desired. They were mostly tasteless other than a little hint of bean flavor. Although the taste was a C, the weirdness was around an A-.

With our wallets close to empty, a display filled with barbecue rib flavored cheeto-like chips caught our eyes; five bags only cost $2.50.

The chips had a texture like that of Cheetos, but they were lighter and crispier with a strong meaty flavoring. It was exactly what you would expect from a Japanese snack creator whose only experience with American barbeque was a bag of Lay’s barbecue flavored chips.

Although a bit off the mark of being “barbecue ribs,” it still tasted really good. This one scored an A for taste, but it was likely a C- in weirdness. Simply put, unless they put a Japanese Chester the Cheetah on the label, it ended up being a lot more normal than the packaging suggested.

Unfortunately for us, it seems that although many online sites tout Japanese snack foods as being both weird and delicious, it seems like it’s unlikely any time soon that some chef in a lab perfectly balances the tastes of cabbage and taro.