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Calbee Black Pepper Potato Crisps: There are two Japanese versions of Pringles that I've seen on the shelves from major brands Calbee and YBC. Both come in familiar tennis-tube packaging and feature a hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped stackable chip. The differences are minor: the Japanese chips are a bit thicker and tend to taste more of fried potato than of their powdered flavoring. These black pepper flavored chips have a decent spiciness to them and are otherwise fairly expected – neither good nor bad. I recently learned t... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 crisps potato pepper black calbee inegaya japanese
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Sweet Box Japanese black beef potato chips: A common potato-based junk food I see here in Japan but not in the states is french-fry-shaped chips, thickly cut like the British type you get with fish and chips but crunchy: extruded fried potato sticks. The most popular is Calbee Jagabee, though I actually have not yet tried it (you can get it easily in the states), but the bag I purchase is substantial and hearty in comparison, at least in terms of the diameter of each piece. The chips have a strong garlic flavor that tastes slightly sm... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 chips potato beef black sweetbox japanese recommended
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Nico Black Sesame Donut: This was a donut I purchased about two months ago in the Azabu-Juban neighborhood of Tokyo. The small stand, selling donuts to go, has a menu of small soybean-flour-based donuts dusted in flavored sugar. The soybean flour gives it a uniquely texture more similar steamed bread than American fried donuts. Flavored sugar is also not overly sweet but also easily identifiable as black sesame. A little bit pricy for the size, at least by Japanese standards (a little over $3 for the donut), but... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 donut sesame black nico japanese azabujuban azabu recommended
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Calbee Takumi Sendai Beef & Black Pepper Chips: I'm pretty fascinated by meat-flavored snacks, which are very popular in Asia. These are chips you can purchase at 7-11 in Japan that are flavored like peppered steak. They have a smoky flavor that do taste of black pepper, but they also have a meaty sweetness as if the beef were marinated in a sweet glaze. The chips are thin and crispy - similar to Lay's and a bit better than the other potato chips I've had here, many of which are translucent with oil. Overall, though, the pepper flavor... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 pepper black beef sendai takumi calbee japanese 711 chips
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Snow Brand Black Sesame Pudding: This is the final unique flavor I've been able to find of this brand of Japanese pudding / custard. The black sesame has a sweet flavor, lacking some of the savoriness you would get in a true black sesame dessert, but satisfying as a sweet dessert. The texture is excellent and barely set, which I am especially impressed by for a packaged product. Worth trying! 3.5/5.0

3.5 pudding sesame black snowbrand lincos custard japanese recommended
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Zabar's Black and White Cookie: Despite having lived / been around in NYC for most of my life, I had not had a Black and White cookie until this week. I learned from Wikipedia that there are at least two styles of Black and White cookies; a dense shortbread base is common in NYC, while a more cake-like base with frosting is more likely to be found in Central New York. Zabar's is the latter, with a sizable diameter and soft, moist-enough cake base with a generous spread of chocolate and vanilla frosting, split evenly down... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 cookie white black zabars jewish nyc cookies recommended