Asian Snack Attack is our ongoing series where we weed out the good from the bad in the wild and wooly world of newfangled Asian snacks.
Asian Snack: Shrimp Flavored Chips
Manufacturer: Distributed by Calbee America
Country of Origin: Product of the U.S.A.
Pre-Consumption Expectations: Extreme anticipation. If I have a bag of these lying around my house, I must eat them.
Texture: Noted on the back of the bag: "A toasted light snack, with a touch of shrimp." We couldn't describe them any better ourselves. And with absolutely zero malapropisms!
Taste: Yes people, there is monosodium glutamate in Shrimp Flavored Chips. But before you start hyperventilating, know this: I grew up eating this stuff. And look at me, I'm ferpectly fine. Seriously, umami isn't umami without MSG, and a little is ok in my book. And there's a total of eight ingredients in this stuff. EIGHT! How does that compare with, say, Doritos Cool Ranch? 25. And guess what, they also contain MSG.
Ahem, but to proceed with the review: Shrimp Flavored Chips aren't that shrimpy tasting. Our theory is that they smell shrimpier than they taste, and the light shrimp flavor is released through the crisp as one crunches down into a chip. The flavor is predominantly salty, with a light, indeterminate "seafoody" dimension. If you haven't had these before, I urge you to go ahead and do not be put off by the name.
Quotes from the Snack Panel: "Are these crispier than they used to be?"
Stars: 5 out of 5. The Platonic ideal of Asian snacks has been attained, and it is a Shrimp Flavored Chip.
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