Friday, May 25, 2007
Japanese Snack Week: Amiyaki Surume
I pretty much love squid. Fried, dried, shredded, sauteed - it's all good in my book. Japan has all kinds of squid snacks - from the typical shredded kind to the super stinky ones that come on little barbeque skewers. Last time I went to JAS mart I picked up these ones which I've never seen before. The English translation on the back simply says "SEASONED SQUID" or "AMIKYAKI SURUME" and there's a little guy on the package with a squid hat and a beer so I assume this is kind of their equivalent to beer nuts. Seem harmless enough...
If the smell doesn't scare you away as soon as you open the bag, maybe the actual squid will. These suckers are big! It's the ENTIRE dried squid, as if it got washed up on the ocean and sat in the sun for weeks. The texture is tough as leather, I felt like I was gonna rip my teeth out when I tried to bite a piece off (I guess you should probably try ripping it into little bite size pieces and let it soak in your mouth till it gets soft). But on the upside, the taste is probably as close to actual "squid" flavor, being that they do not seem to be over salted or flavored with MSG or spice. Really natural and understated. Just don't try and talk to pick up on girls after drinking beer and eating these - squid + alcohol breath = not a good look.
TASTE (5) Kind of bland, but really good if you want a "true" squid flavor.
PACKAGING (7) You gotta love the little guy with the squid hat and beer. Bonus points for the resealable bag that keeps the freshness (and smell) in.
Overall snackability rating (4) If you're hard up for some tough squid action, go for it (and get a six pack of Sapporo while you're at it). Otherwise I'd recommend the shredded variety (SAKI IKA brand is good) or the barbequed stinky kind on a skewer.