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Uegaki Beika Co Matcha Uguisu Balls: Uguisu Balls are a classic Japanese snack of bite-sized rice and wheat balls whose appearance is meant to mimic plum blossom buds. To me, they looked more like the shiny round acorns the two sisters chase after while exploring their new home at the beginning of Totoro. In this case, a sticky sugary coating envelops each piece, making it possible for green tea powder to stick to its surface. Slightly soft yet crunchy, sweet and bitter, this snack blends opposites to mixed success; the matcha... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 balls uguisu uegakibeikaco japanese matcha tokyofishmarket
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Shrimp peanut snack: Despite my best effort at detective work with Google Translate and Reverse Image Search, I wasn’t able to track down the exact brand of this senbei snack. Too bad, because it’s one of the best ones I’ve had before. Purchased from Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley, the snack consists of baked hollow balls filled with peanuts. Unlike the traditional crunchy glazed rice crackers I’ve had before, this one had a crumbly, buttery exterior that melt-in-your-mouths. The shell is well seasoned with a rob... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 snack peanut shrimp japanese tokyofishmarket recommended
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T-Pops Tarako Salted cod roe popcorn: Purchased from Tokyo Fish Market, this small bag of popcorn from T-Pops contains dense miniature kernels with a seasoned but not easily identifiable flavoring. It doesn’t taste like seafood, which I expected because of the salted cod flavoring and it’s dressed with a noticeable amount of oil. Not particularly good popcorn, or unique flavor. 2.5/5.0

2.5 popcorn roe cod salted tpops japanese tokyofishmarket
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Hippeas Far Out Fajita Organic Chickpea Puffs: A new take on the beloved puffed vegetable snack, Hippeas utilize ground chickpeas puffed to a crispy and light texture. The coating is slightly toasted, and each bite feels more substantial than a corn-based puff like Cheetos. The flavor is bold and smoky, with prominent chili powder and paprika seasonings that faintly resemble American Barbecue without any of the underlying sweetness. A good level of heat as well. If you prefer a more neutral flavor, this may not be for you, but I appr... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 puffs chickpea organic fajita out far hippeas berkeleybowl recommended
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M&M Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies: According to Wikipedia, Peanut Butter M&Ms have been around since the 1990s, but I've never encountered them until recently. This particular "FUN SIZE" bag came from the office candy jar, and as I missed any Halloween fodder due to a flu last fall, I felt that my consumption was at least permissible. Inside your standard colored candy shell is a solidified peanut butter paste, not too unlike Reese's Pieces in its slight creamy yielding texture (in contrast to the classic chocolate filling ... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 candies chocolate butter peanut mm peanutbutter candy
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Sweetheart Cafe Almond milk tea with boba: Every few months, I stop by Sweetheart Cafe for their preternaturally chewy boba, despite the fact that I’ve never had a particularly good drink here. This time, I waited patiently in line after a group of Cal students arrived for their bubble tea fix at 10pm (the busiest I’ve seen the place, though now that I think about it, I’ve only ever gone there at night). The almond milk tea had a sweet and predictable flavor (even at half sweetness), but the boba was very good. I wonder if they would... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 boba tea milk almond sweetheartcafe milktea bubbletea berkeley