Review: Habanero Ring Chips from Japan
So there is this store that I have seen along Queen St West that I have always been meaning to go in, but for one reason or another I never did. Well this Sunday I had my chance! My better half was getting fitted for a model shoot so I had a few minutes to go and venture around. Lo and behold Sanko Japanese Food Importers was right on the corner so I decided to pay them a visit. I was hoping to get some raw Wasabi (which they do carry from time to time) but they were out. My next option was to peruse the snack section to see what funky stuff I could find. And funky did I find indeed! There was a plethora of chips and rice bags that contained whole fish, seaweed, some type of fermented mayo (wtf?!?!?) but among them were a dastardly little bag with flames on it the caught my attention right away.
In a barely legible font I saw the words Habanero (spelled correctly no less). This was a no brainer to give these a go so I purchased two bags (not cheap) and made my way back to wait for the Mrs. I was hoping to find some interesting Engrish on here but there was none to be found.
Ingredients: Potato, oil, starch, spice, salt, powder (pork, chicken, onion, vegetable bouillon, yeast, garlic, carrot) yoghurt, powdered soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt) glucose, color, flavor, dextrin, lecithin.
The actual contents were a surprise as well. Or more so, not much of a surprise. If any of you have had tried Humpty Dumpty’s Ring-A-Lo’s you know what you are getting here in terms if texture and shape. The flavor isn’t that far off except it does give a little tingle of heat after a few seconds but nothing that warrants this to be anything extreme for the mainstream. In fact this is exactly who this would cater too. So if by chance you do see these pop up locally know that they are tasty but they aren’t very hot. For the price point ($2.00+) you are better off getting something you are more familiar with. The novelty factor is quite cool though as no one you know has probably ever seen a bag that looks this ominous. Yes it is more ominous than Blair’s little black bags.
Overall these were fun for the snack factor. They look pretty cool and taste quite good. I think if they had some whole fish fillets in it like some of the other snacks they had it would be just that much better (or worse). Plus the heat needs to be kicked up substantially to really promote these as a habanero snack. If you noticed Hab’s aren’t even listed in the ingredients list. With the amount of Wasabi that the Japanese eat, these would be pretty wimpy. But for the herd mentality mainstream, they are sufficient.
Worth a grab bag just to say you tried it.