Potato chips. I know, they are unhealthy, loaded with salt, and let’s face it – greasy. Still, we can all agree that they are therapy in a bag!
When you first come to Japan and can’t read a word, buying a bag of potato chips is like a blindfolded taste test with a deranged tormentor.
The bag is green! It must be Sour Cream and Onion! Instead, you get seaweed. Yellow bag! Jackpot! Salt and Vinegar! Actually, it’s soup stock. Recently, thanks to an increase in imports and the Japanese WalMart, you can find some familiar flavors. Don’t be bamboozled! If there is one thing I can tell you – it is well worth your while to branch out and live a little Japanese style.
Here are my top 5 favorite brands and flavors. Be warned, a taste bud explosion – or malfunction – awaits you.
Peach. Orange. Banana. Feeling like some fruit without the mess? Want to enjoy some chips without the guilt? At least they taste healthy.
All manner of sea and sea beast related wonders. Seaweed is standard, but you just haven’t lived until you pop a thinly sliced, perfectly fried, fish egg flavored crinkle cut in your mouth.
No, thankfully they don’t taste like sweaty gym socks, but they are super crunchy and perfectly flavored. Kind of like kettle chips you would find in the states.
The one, the only…plum potato chips. Yes. Plum. Plum is big in Japan. Salty? Oh yes. Sour? You bet. Simply delicious. Try! You will thank me.
Japanese Doritos – they have it in the BAG! Regular flavors: Tacos, Cheese, Plain. They also have all kinds of crazy flavors too: Clam Chowder, Corn Chowder in the shape of Christmas trees, Pizza, Shrimp and Mayo. For a fun party trick, pour a few bags in a bowl at a party, sit back, and watch your friends’ faces.
Be warned! Japan loves seasonal and limited edition flavors, so when you stumble upon your personal nirvana, get to hoarding!