Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SpyShopper-- Taste-Testing New Chip Flavors

My all-time most favorite chip flavor:  UmeShio!  (Pickled Plum Salt)

Everything is seasonal in a Japanese supermarket-- including flavors of chips.  At left, my favorite chip flavor *ever* (even better than Salt & Vinegar).

thank goodness the bags are small...
When the plums ripen in June, it's time to make Umeboshi (dried, pickled plums-- I like the kind, pictured at right, made with honey) and Umeshu (plum liqueur).  It's also time for the Ume flavor chips!  Yay!  You can tell they're meant for summer because that huge kanji in the middle says "SUMMER" (natsu), and the bag is decorated with fireworks and a windchime.

I found two new flavors at Daiei today, though, that I've never even seen before, let alone eaten.

That flavor up there is Asparagus-Bacon, a popular side dish in the summer when the asparagus is in season (just wrap the cut asparagus spears in a piece of bacon and fry--extremely yummy!).

This was not a bad chip flavor at all--very savory, and there actually was a bit of an asparagus taste.

The other flavor I found was "Yakitamanegi"... fried onion.

This flavor *rocked*.  Very onion-y, and it really matched the potato taste well.  Umeboshi is still my favorite, but I would definitely buy this again for a change of pace.

I also gave the two new flavors above to the kids and a couple of friends in a blind taste test.

Teddy--  liked both flavors, but liked the asparagus the best
Teddy's friend-- liked both flavors, but liked the onion best
Koshi-- definitely liked the onion... tasted the asparagus...said it was ok...tried it again... then I told him what  flavor it was... and he said "bleah!"
Koshi's friend-- liked both ok, but like the onion best
Cici-- thought both flavors tasted weird
Me-- I liked both, but liked the onion a little better

Fried Onion:  five 'Yes', two 'OK', one 'bleah'
Asparagus:  one 'Yes', three 'OK', two 'bleah' (of the two 'beahs', one of those was not a decided 'bleah' until the name of the flavor was revealed.  I expect my mom will laugh about that;-))



  1. Daz's #1 cookery-tip: Anything is yummy, if it has bacon. This is because it contains the little-known substance, baconinate, which is absorbed through the palate,directly into the brain, where it triggers the release of yummiate, recently found to be an important part of the noradrenaline* system.

    In short, bacon = mmmmm.

    *That one's real, btw. The rest is, erm, 'awaiting experimental confirmation'.

  2. Ahh-- somebody who cooks like I do! Bacon=bliss. Crispy, not floppy. It's probably a good thing that there's really nothing in the way of actual, you know, crispy bacon here. I'd weigh eight hundred pounds, surely. And... I'm sure your science is sound;-))

  3. aww! I want to taste test (and then eat) all of those!
    Also, i never thought of wrapping asparagus in bacon before. I love asparagus, though, so maybe i should just forget about it, since the last thing i need is more bacon in my life (regardless of how much i want it)

  4. Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
    —Francis Bacon

    Well, I liked it. And, well ... Bacon!

  5. I'm on board with the Bacon Improves Everything crowd. I'd never thought of Asparagus rolled in bacon though. I am going to have to try that one out on Mr. Alice. I think the Asparagus-Bacon and the Fried Onion chips both sound fabulous...the plum flavor sounds icky. -wrinkles up nose-