japanese (94)
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Marukyo Black Sesame Funwariyaki Dorayaki: Dorayaki is a delicious filled pancake dessert from Japan that has no equivalent in American pastry (as far as I know). The closest likeness I can think of is the Whoopie Pie, though dorayaki has a bean paste filling rather than cream, and the ratio of cake to filling is slimmer. Berkeley Bowl sells an assortment of refrigerated cakes in their Asian grocery aisle, though I have normally been wary of these silica-packet-filled packaged snacks. I was intrigued, though, by this black sesame ... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 dorayaki funwariyaki sesame black marukyo blacksesame japanese berkeleybowl recommended
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Yaokin Takoyaki Umaibo: Continuing my quest to try every flavor of Umaibo (a challenge I don’t think will ever end), I tried the takoyaki flavored corn snack. For those who haven’t had takoyaki before, takoyaki is a Japanese street snack consisting of battered octopus balls topped with shaved bonito flakes and a kewpie mayo drizzle. This snack version of a snack had a very smoky seafood flavor, savory and sweet like a deep brown gravy (Worcestershire-like). It isn’t one of my favorite Umaibo as I found the flavor b... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 umaibo takoyaki yaokin japanese
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Minamoto Kitchoan Senbei: Crispy Japanese rice crackers from confectionary store Minamoto Kitchoan. First time I've ever had a snack that has a deep umami flavor but is not at all salty (some may even say underseasoned). An interesting one, but not a snack I would purchase. 3.0/5.0

3.0 senbei minamotokitchoan japanese ricecrackers
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Calbee Yuzu and black pepper shrimp chips: I grew up eating MSG-laden Calbee shrimp crackers, so it was neat to see they are celebrating 50 years. This is the first time I tried anything outside their original flavor. The crispy crackers had a tangy slightly sour seasoning that was more interesting than tasty. Still, adding a yuzu flavor to their line seems appropriate and on trend; maybe this will help them reach 50 more years. 3.0/5.0

3.0 chips shrimp pepper black yuzu calbee japanese
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Furuta Green Tea Cookies: I was lucky to find these crumbly green tea sandwich cookies at Niniya Market for a very reasonable price just over $3. The biscuits are lightly sweetened and more substantial than normal Oreo-like sandwich cookies, and the cream filling has a much more natural matcha flavor than most packaged snacks I’ve had. Great value and taste! 3.5/5.0

3.5 cookies tea green furuta nijiya matcha japanese recommended
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Riska Cheese Corn Snack: This flavor of umbaibo has a cheese flavor familiar to Asian snacks. It tastes a bit like the cheese powder from boxed mac and cheese but with a creamy, milky flavor that's mild rather than tangy. Very different than the bolder cheese taste of American cheese snacks like Cheetos. Like other Umaibo, the texture is crispy and light. In this particular package, they're cut into mid-sized rings. 3.0/5.0

3.0 snack corn cheese riska japanese umaibo