No self-respecting fan of Japanese crisps (potato chips) can claim not to have heard of the Calbee brand.
One of the most popular producers of crisps in Japan, Calbee offers a wide selection of flavours to introduce you to Japanese tastes.
Founded in 1949, the company headquarters are based in Tokyo. According to the Calbee website, they own more than 50% of the Japanese domestic snack food market share, and their products are stocked in 11 countries around the world, with the company expanding all the time. Are Calbee products stocked in your home country?
Several years ago, a survey carried out by the MyVoice Internet community discovered that Calbee is the most well-known brand of crisps in Japan, with more than 95% citing that brand as being the one that springs to mind when they think of crisps. More than 80% of people asked said that they like Calbee.
As well as crisps, Calbee in Japan also produce cornflakes and a variety of other crisp-like products (such as Vegips (vegetable chips) and Jagariko sticks). The most widely stocked packet size is the 63gram bag, which is far too many crisps for any one (sensible) person to eat but is great for sharing at picnics.
There are a large number of different flavours, although many of them involve soy sauce in some way so, if you don’t like the soy flavour, you’re out of luck! Here are a few of the soy sauce inclusive flavours: Soy sauce and mayo, kelp soy sauce, wasabi soy sauce, white soy sauce, butter and soy sauce, oyster soy sauce, kyushu soy sauce, kansai soy sauce, and the intriguingly named ‘glue’ soy sauce.
On the non-soy flavoured frontier we have: consomme punch, seaweed and salt, French salad, seaweed, sour plum, chicken consomme, seaweed salt punch, cod roe, yuzu and hot pepper, ‘Happy Bata’ (honey, butter, parsley and marscarpone cheese), lemon salt, bacon, garlic, and finally, the new Lotteria Cheeseburger.
By far my favourite Calbee crisp product is the pizza flavoured crisps. The spicy pepperoni ones are a classic, but if you can find a bag of the basil and garlic flavoured ones then certainly grab a bag of those. The tomato cream sauce pizza crisps are also worth a try.
So, are you a fan of Calbee crisps? Which flavour is your favourite? If you haven’t tried Calbee yet, now you have no excuse to go grab a bag and try them out!