junkfood (7)
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Hwa Yuan Jenyowe Cuttlefish Crackers: From Taiwan, these seafood crackers are shaped like curled squid tentacles and have a vivid glazed orange color. They taste like a cross between shrimp crackers and fried calamari - definitely seafood flavored, but not easily pinpointed to a single type of underwater creature. Cost less than $2 for a bag at Hong Kong Supermarket in Manhattan's Chinatown. Not healthy, but tasty. 3.5/5.0

3.5 crackers cuttlefish jenyowe hwayuan junkfood taiwanese hongkongsupermarket seafood recommended
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Beanitos White bean Mac n cheese crunch: These corn-alternative snacks have an irregular crunchy texture with a similar size to puffed Cheetos. The Mac n Cheese flavor is just a marketing spin on cheddar (more on an actual cheese puff whose flavor resembles boxed Mac and cheese in a forthcoming review). They have a slightly less neutral taste than regular corn puffs, with an aftertaste that resembles wheat snacks. Not bad, but not particularly memorable. 3.0/5.0

3.0 crunch n mac bean white beanitos cheesepuffs cheddar cheese junkfood
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Auntie Anne’s Sour cream and onion pretzell: Almost missed my flight to get this pretzel since they needed 10 minutes to “bake it fresh.” Surprised to find it’s actually the plain pretzels with a heavy coating of powdered seasoning. The sour cream and onion flavor was insane, with an ultra tangy sour cream flavor that had a sharp aftertaste like sweet onion. It was kind of like the coating on sour cream and onion Pringles except 2x more concentrated. The pretzel was very buttery but had a nice soft texture. Actually pretty good for an... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 pretzel onion cream sour auntieannes junkfood recommended
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Better Made Special Barbecue flavored potato chips: This brand of chips was founded in Detroit, which is where I ate a bag during a conference snack break. The chips are thin and slightly crispy but mostly saturated with oil. Seasoned with a sweet tangy vinegar-based powder, it has all the classic flavorings of a bbq chip. It falls squarely in the middle - just so so. 3.0/5.0

3.0 chips potato flavored barbecue bettermadespecial junkfood potatochips
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Chester's Cheese flavored Puffcorn: Long gone are the days when Chester the Cheetah starred in his own video game (see Too Cool to Fool, NES 1992). While he's still featured prominently on Cheetos packaging, his name is a relic of 90s/00s commercial spots of my childhood. A quick search on YouTube for Cheetos ads reveals a shift away from pure animation to showing real people interacting with a CGI Chester. But on a recent trip to CVS, I found a bag of Chester's Cornpuffs, a product I had up to this point not seen before. It s... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 puffcorn flavored cheese chesters cheddar junkfood
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Riska Mentai Corn Snack: I love that Japanese culture is seemingly contradictory. There is the upmost respect for serenity and simplicity, along with an obsession with quality and workmanship (e.g., tea gardens, sashimi and sushi rice, Yurbai melons) - yet, at the same time, it can be loud, brash, and colorful (e.g., manga, Pachinko). This purple bag of Mentai (cod roe) puffed corn snacks is sensory overload all on its own, with multiple exclamation points, bold lettering, and metallic silver foil highlighting. I... (read more) 4.5/5.0

tokyofishmarket 4.5 snack corn riska junkfood seafood fish roe cod mentai japanese exceptional