Japanese Snack Food Review: Hapi Mixed Crackers

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[Editor’s forward: Welcome to August and a slightly different format for the JSFR. As you may or may not have remembered, August is the blog-a-versary for the JSFR so I thought I’d go the extra mile, the whole nine yards, dress it up to the nines and let some of my oft referred to cast of characters write the reviews for this month. Or week. Or two weeks. Or…I’ll know when I get all the reviews in. Meanwhile, I present to you, in the order I received them: JSFR Guest Review Time Period

Today’s entry is penned, typed, scripted, what have you by none other than Scott H, who also goes by the pseudonym “Scott H”. Originally, he was a dojo bud, but since neither of us attend the dojo much anymore, he’s been relegated to just bud. Occasionally a bad movie bud, sometimes soiree bud and most recently a geocaching bud. He also builds a mean microphone. Without further ado, here’s Scott H.]

ShowCrackers.jpg

Well, where do you start when reviewing a wide variety of crackers all thrown together into one festive can? By trying a bunch and eventually coming up with categories. In the picture you see a bewildering nine different crackers, but fortunately for me (as a reviewer) they boil down to a paltry four categories:

Generic Rice Cracker

Sparkly Rice Cracker

Hidden Surprise!

Wasabi Pea

Yes, there are real actual wasabi peas in there. Next, since I’m working from the bottom of the list… Hidden Surprise! is a crunchy shell with a mysterious rattly thing loose inside. It’s a pea, of the non-wasabi variety. Sparkly Rice Cracker looks like sort of a sugar-cookie coating, but it’s not especially sweet. Crunchy, at least. And finally the bulk of the crackers are Generic Rice Cracker, all pretty much tasting like the usual kind of Japanese rice cracker. There’s the usual Fake Sushi cracker with the sushinori (toasted seaweed strip) wrapped around an otherwise completely average rice cracker. Not enough nori to really taste that different, though.

I found that the mixed paradigm has both a strength and a weakness. In a bowl, there’s a wonderful visual feast of intriguing little treats. But you really have to pick them out one by one to get any sense of how the different crackers taste, and like all other rice crackers they tend to stick to your teeth so that you keep tasting that same cracker for a few minutes. Given the American snack-consumption habit of grabbing a random handful, you’d end up with no idea how any of the individual crackers actually tasted.

Rating

of 3 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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