For savoury snacks, crisps are a number one choice, and in Japan there is a good variety of mad and delicious flavours to sample.
Some flavours have no right being anywhere near an innocent slice of deep fried potato, but there are others that have earned their place in the crisp-flavour-hall-of-respect and are there to stay. Let’s take a look at what weird and wonderful crisp flavours and brands Japan has to offer.
I like pizza. I like crisps. This is a perfect combination of two things that were just meant for each other. One of the best things about pizza crisps is that, with the Calbee variety, they actually have pieces of real cheese melted onto the surface of the crisps. Incredible. The mildly spicy pepperoni pizza crisps are good, but the tomato and basil ones are my hands down favourite, even if consuming a whole bag does leave you with a serious case of garlic breath for the next few hours. It’s worth it.
I’m not generally a fan of tortilla chips, but these flavours were too good to miss. I mean… avocado cheese… on a crisp? And the succulent, flavoursome balsamico grilled pork… in crisp form? Amazing. This brand is available in the 100 Yen Daiso shops, and I can guarantee that it’s 100 Yen well spent!
According to RocketNews24, this flavour of crisps is the most popular in Japan. Aside from being found wrapped around various types of rice balls, nori (seaweed) is a usual topping on all sorts of foods, from pizzas and okonomiyaki to spaghetti and salad, so it’s not that strange to find it immortalised in crisp form. Other top flavours as cited by the RocketNews24 website are pickled plum, soy sauce with mayo, and Pepsi cola…
Japanese cuisine isn’t known for being particularly spicy, yet most Japanese people you ask seem to love super-spicy food. When it comes to crisps, there is a plethora of spicy flavours to choose from, most of them with vaguely terrifying cartoons of little characters who have evidently indulged in one spicy crisp too many. You could try a different bag of spicy flavoured crisps every day for a month and you’d still have new options to choose from.
I bought Chip Star today. POTATO CHIPS. It is made in Japan. pic.twitter.com/OTzT7NF3Qy
— パングワン (@panguwan357) 2015年3月7日
If Pringles had a cheaper, less well-known yanger brother, Chip Star would be it. They are basically the same as Pringles – don’t be fooled by the super-simple packaging, the flavours are just as delicious, if less varied.
Imagine french-fries that are really chewy and get stuck in your teeth… that, in my opinion, is Jagariko. These stick-shaped crisps are really popular in Japan but I can’t work it out – they have a really nasty texture and the flavours are nothing special. As much as I usually love Calbee for savoury snacks, this product is one of those things that everyone seems to like but nobody knows why. They’re one of those snacks that you pick up to go with a bar-side beverage, and before you know it you’ve absent-mindedly eaten the whole lot, even though you don’t really like them.