Unbrave Eats: Seafood-flavored Snack Chips

February 15, 2010

Happy (slightly belated) Valentine’s Day, everyone! In the spirit of this special day, I have done something truly special (and by “special,” I mean “not recommended”). I have taken it upon myself to consume four different types of seafood-flavored snack chips and I’ve reviewed them below. This way you will never have to wonder again what a tuna mayonnaise flavored Dorito might taste like. (I’m sure this has been weighing on your mind something fierce.) You get to find out what each of these seafood snack sensations taste like without ever having to wreak the same kind of havoc on your gastrointestinal tract like I have wreaked on mine. Consider this my Valentine’s Gift to you! I’m sure you were hoping for chocolate… trust me, so was I.

Doritos Gourmet tuna mayonnaise flavored corn chips

If you’ve spent a good deal of time eating Doritos, like I have, you’ve probably entertained lots of thoughts about different Doritos flavor combination: Doritos and salsa, Doritos and chip dip, Doritos and beer, Doritos and more Doritos. But, you’ve probably never ever thought about what Doritos and tuna salad might taste like, now have you?! Well, luckily for us (or… ummm… me) the makers of Doritos in Japan have!

The packaging on Doritos Tuna Mayonnaise flavored chips shows a picture of your average-looking Doritos corn chip being dipped into a big pot of tuna salad. I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Of course, while I’m sure this sounds delicious to almost everyone, it also sounds messy. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about tuna salad getting all over your nice Doritos-eating sweatpants with the brand new “Gourmet” Doritos Tuna Mayonnaise flavored chips! With a flavor like that they have to be “Gourmet,” right?! As if the thought of tuna-flavored corn chips wasn’t tantalizing enough, apparently these chips are double-fried for extra crispiness. Tuna flavored and double-fried… wow, that truly is gourmet!

Upon opening the bag of Tuna Mayonnaise Doritos, I was a bit disappointed to discover they smelled like your ordinary corn chips. They even looked like your ordinary corn chips. And aside from a slight mayonnaise-y aftertaste, they tasted pretty much like your ordinary corn chips. I couldn’t even taste the tuna flavor at all. Which, when you think about it, this is probably a good thing. What I did taste was a slight stale-ness. The chips were crunchy but dry… this may have something to do with the double-frying method… or it might have something to do with the fact that I picked them up at the 100 yen shop… or maybe stale is just the gourmet-way… who knows?!

O’zack scallop-flavored potato chips

I’m a big fan of potato chips. I mean, they’re salty and crispy and potato-y… what’s not to like?! But I have to say I did not have high hopes for these chips. It takes something really extra gross to dampen my spirits for potato chips, and I’d have to say this packaging was that something extra gross. While I don’t mind eating scallops, I really can’t say they’re all that easy on the eyes. And the picture of a big slimy, festering scallop festooning the front of the potato chip package was neither easy on my eyes… nor my stomach.

Luckily, the O’zack scallop-flavored chip looks nothing like an actual scallop. Instead, it smells and looks pretty much like a potato chip. To be more specific, O’zack chips smell a lot like a regular Pringles chip, but have an irregular, puffy shape about them, unlike a Pringle. I am happy to report that the scallop-flavored chips tasted pretty much like a Pringle, too. They were crispy and salty and not even a bit scallop-y at all. Which, again, when you think about it, this is probably a good thing.

Calbee’s Kappa Ebisen shrimp & pickled plum snack sticks

O’zack could learn a thing or two from the Calbee company about how to package a chip. Unlike the scallop-flavored chip, Calbee’s Kappa Ebisen shrimp-flavored snack stick has packaging so pretty you want to take it out on a date. With a happy red shrimp dancing on the bag and a background of pink plum blossoms, the bag is like one big pretty Valentine’s Day card…. that is, if you were the type to give Valentine’s Day cards with pictures of shrimp on them.

The snack sticks inside are almost as pretty as the packaging on the outside. The snacks are festooned with festive flecks of what I assume to be pickled plum (or shrimp…. or possibly a combination of both… either way, they look festive).

The snack sticks have a pleasant texture; they’re crunchy and airy. In fact, they’re kind of like Cheetos…. that is, if Cheetos tasted like shrimp. I liked how the pickled plum added a certain tanginess to the snack, but I was really not so keen on the lingering taste of shrimp. While, not bad, I’d say these snacks were definitely a treat for the eyes… and not so much for my stomach.

Kari Kari Takosan octopus dumpling chips

My last and final seafood-flavored snack taste sensation was the Kari Kari Takosan octopus chip, which judging from the packaging is supposed to be the snack-chip version of a takoyaki or octopus dumpling. Seeing as my most recent encounter with the actual real-life-version of a takoyaki was not a good one, I was rather reluctant to try the snack-chip version of it. My gut was telling me not to do it.

But this was not for my gut to decide — but my heart. It is Valentine’s Day after all, and what kind of Valentine’s Day gift would this be if only reviewed three out of four of the special seafood snack foods?!

Sorry, heart… but I really should have went with my gut on this one. This was the only chip that made me physically cringe after eating it. I don’t know if this was because of the overwhelming taste of octopus and seaweed infused in each chip (and so not in a good way). Or maybe I was cringing, recollecting the damage done to me by the takoyaki of my past. Or maybe I was cringing because my gastrointestinal tract was finally giving out on me. I could only take two chips and then I had to call it quits.
All may be fair in love and war… but all is not fair when it comes to snack chips, my friends. And these chips were definitely not fair… nor edible. All I have to say is that next year I’ll be getting you chocolate (and by “you” I mean “me”… but I’ll be sure to tell you all about it just like I did this year!).

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