For Christmas, I got my husband a package of dagashi or Japanese snacks. He went to Japan for work years ago, and fell in love with the place, but has never been able to return. A snack won’t make up for the lights of Tokyo or the majesty of mount Fuji, but it should at least remind him of the place.
The $25 box promised 30 snacks, but it was more like 20 snacks and several one or two bite candies. Still, it should give us at least three weeks of daily treats – and reviews!
My husband then reciprocated by getting me a box of Turkish snacks. My trip to Turkey was right after my year abroad in Egypt, and while I loved the country and the food, I don’t think I ever tried any snacks. I was traveling at a super small budget, and snacks didn’t enter into the question.
I don’t know if Turkish snacks were a big deal back then, but they apparently are now – at least in Amazon. Whether that’s because they’re particularly good and varied or relatively cheap, we’ll have to see.
The $28 box my husband got me is supposed to have over 1 1/2 lbs of snacks or at least 20 full size snacks. It came with a sheet explaining what they all were.
As you can see, this was true. At least from a price point, the Turkish box was a better value than the Japanese box – but Japan is a more expensive country. The question will be what’s the best value in terms of food and experience.
Our plan is to try one of the snacks every day and see which we like best. I’ll blog about them as well. I start with the first couple of days, and will add more blog postings as I go along.
Day 1: Ozmo Burger Chocolate Chip Cookies vs. Yaokin Unaibo Corn Potage
The burger cookies were super cute and very detailed. They would make great play food for dolls. Flavor wise, however, they were a bit lacking. They were a bit dry and they had a soft chocolate flavor, maybe with some hazelnut thrown in. Not something I’d be craving.
We expected weird snacks in the Japanese box, and this one did not disappoint. Umaibo, I learned, are puffed corn snacks (similar to a large cheetos) that come in a variety of flavors and, indeed, there are several of these in the box. This particular one was “corn potage” flavor, which apparently is a popular Japanese soup. At first, the snack was a bit weird, but we soon really got into it and we found it very tasty. I would definitely buy more. And I’m planning to make this actual corn potage.
The Turkish treat were think pretzel sticks. They tasted exactly like think pretzel sticks. I did like how thin they were, but otherwise you will like this as much as you like pretzels.
As far as I can tell, this is a flavor jelly candy made from the konjac plant. It has a consistency a bit more liquidy than jello which I found very pleasant. I couldn’t quite tell what the flavor was before I looked it up (and I did an image search for “Japanese green jelly snack” to find it). In addition to being a popular candy in Japan, it seems that you can buy the powdered konjac gelatin to make your own decorative jellies at home. Beware, however, that is also a known choking hazard.
While I did like this snack, my daughter didn’t like it and my husband wasn’t very excited about it either. Fortunately, though, there is another one in the box because my vegan daughter might like it. Getting vegetable gelatin is hard, so this may be a good substitute.