Japanese Snack Food Review: Nori-ten Wasabi Cookies

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Again, what’s with the naming? Nori-Wasabi Cookies?? Blech! In the words of LunarGeography, “We aren’t calling these cookies, OK?” and I couldn’t agree more. They are not cookies by any stretch of the imagination and I can stretch pretty far so ixnay on the ookiekay (ookiecay?) idea. However, they are not quite crackers either so I’m not exactly sure where they would fit other than “snack foodage”.

What they are, are smallish (1×1.5 or 2) squarish bits of tasty something or other. Well, tasty if you like fish as the initial and quasi lingering flavor. See the green side? That would be Nori and that would taste slightly like shrimp or fish or mostly like sea weed, since that is what Nori is. I was not so fond of the fishy flavor, although I don’t mind Nori in sushi. I guess fused nori on a rice cake like base just isn’t my gig.

The base that holds the nori is an interesting thing, however, and I have absolutely nothing against it. It has the texture of a flatted rice cake, yet tastes more like tempura coating. This is a good thing since tempura coating is by far tastier than rice cake. It’s an enjoyable crunch, I thought, even if there was a fishy taste lingering along. The base is just a tad sweet too which was nice.

Oh say, have we gotten to the wasabi part yet? Well, if you are a big fan of wasabi you may be disappointed. There is a kick but it won’t clean your sinuses like real wasabi or even wasabi peas might. The bite comes sneaking in after the fish taste and after the sweet ricey-tempura base flavor and just reminds you a little that yes, there is wasabi here. It is never too much spice that you have to stop eating the snack food bits but it does build a bit and then gently fade away. I give it a definite thumbs up for kick of spice that doesn’t hold your taste buds hostage.

Unfortunately, I have to take away the thumbs for the fishy taste. Oddly, I was vastly in the minority on this so while I would love to slap a 2.5 rating on these and be done with it, the rest of the guinea pigs were ALL about the Nori-Wasabi whatsits. You would not believe how fast they went so grudgingly, and with the caveat that if fishy isn’t your thing then you might not go for these, I’m going to give these a

Rating

of 4 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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