Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Snack #165- Hot Mate Assorted Rice Crackers

Hot Mate Assorted Rice Crackers

These rice crackers are a spicy take on the standard mix comprising ridged and smooth rice crackers, seaweed covered rice crackers, and wasabi peas.  Surprisingly, the spiciest snack in the bunch is the seaweed coated rice cracker; either something in the seaweed or underneath is has a strong kick of horseradish.  The wasabi peas are understandably also pretty sharp in horseradish seasoning.  The rest of the rice crackers have some spicy chili seasoning which coats the tongue but isn’t particularly burny in the rest of the mouth.  Overall these snacks are crunchy, salty, and tasty though the spice quotient could be higher.  They are definitely the winner out of our haul from the Asian variety store and certainly worth snacking on.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 5/10 (averaged across all snacks in the mix)
Bottom Line: Moderately spicy but very tasty rice cracker mix.

Buy them here:

Snack #164- Calbee Hot & Spicy Potato Chips

Calbee Hot & Spicy Potato Chips

We were wary after tasting the last Asian snack and when we first tried this snack one of the raters got a very soggy, mushy potato chip and we almost threw in the towel right there.  But the rest of the bag seems to be light and moderately crispy though I think the heavy amount of seasoning definitely soaked into the chips and killed some of the original crunch over time.  The flavoring mix tasted a lot like a pretty standard barbeque seasoning but was really muddled with the number of spices added to the mix and the addition of soy sauce on top of everything.  Seasoned with curry powder, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, nutmeg, and soy sauce?  It was overkill and didn’t create a delicious chip.  It also did not create a spicy chip- these were just basically a poorly conceived Asian twist on a barbeque chip. 

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Boring barbeque flavors.

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Snack #163- Orion Ball Hot Flavored

Orion Ball Hot Flavored

We almost couldn’t eat these because the bag smells so much like fish when opened.  The ingredients include sliced cuttlefish and shrimp so we were expecting some fishy notes but the smell almost prevented us from even trying them.  We did each manage to try one ball but that was enough.  They don’t taste overtly fishy upon chewing; instead you get a mushy, sweet peanut flavor with an actual peanut in the center.  Then as you are chewing the peanut the spice flavors and fish flavors come through.  The fish flavor isn’t rancid but it isn’t particularly pleasant either though I know many Asian cultures enjoy fish flavored snacks.  Our American palates just don’t seem to appreciate a dried fish snack in the same way though so we were not big fans of this snack.  Also in my opinion the salty fish flavor and the sweet peanut flavor clashed.  The spice flavor was pretty tame and got lost in all the other flavors but was a pretty standard hot sauce flavor and not very spicy.  Overall the squishiness of the snack and the overdone mix of flavors made this snack pretty gross.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2.5/10
Bottom Line: Squishy peanut ball with real fish added!