Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good Snack Deal

During my last browse at World Market, I found a great deal on an interesting snack food. The label contains the brand name "Asian Passage," the appellation "Spicy Kyoto Mix," the descriptive terms "Rice Crackers" and "Spicy." It is further described as "A spicy blend of rice crackers, chili Japanese peanuts, Cajun sesame sticks, hot & spicy peanuts, dried green peas and almonds."

It's got a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors in it, ranging from sweet-and-soy-saucy to zingy-with-a-touch-of-wasabi. What makes it a particularly good deal is that the package contains 12 individually wrapped 1.5-ounce bags - twelve generous-sized snacks for about the price of a standard bag of chips.

All right, it isn't health food. Each serving has a certain amount of fat, carbs, and sodium. But none of the fat is "trans fat." The carbs include some dietary fiber. Plus, there is a little protein, calcium, and iron in there. On the "con" side, there are several ingredients in it that may raise food-allergy flags, including nuts, wheat, and soy. And the list of ingredients is about as long as Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. But if you're going to eat junk anyway, you could do worse than this - and pay more too. And this has some interesting tastes and textures in it. Worth a try!

The same company sells party-size packages of snack food, including several different varieties, such as (pictured above) their "Tokyo Mix." I think I have also seen a "Banzai Mix" and, unless my memory betrays me, an "Osaka Mix." I can't explain the differences between them, but I suppose it has something to do with the ratio of peas and nuts to rice crackers, the level of spiciness, etc. I am sure these westernized appellations are an insult to Japanese natives, where similar snacks are known as arare. I don't know why they don't just call it that here in the U.S. It sounds cool.

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