Sunday, December 1, 2013

Japanese BBQ Cheetos

sweet at first kinda smoky oniony beefy not at all like american bbq chips like nik naks rib n saucy flavor but less savoury not salty

Back again with another Japanese Cheeto review! This one is a bit more esoteric than the Cheeseburger Cheetos, kinda on the level of Avocado Salad, but way less weird than Mentai Mayo.

Japanese Barbecue Cheetos, or 'BBQ Taste' Cheetos, are not what I would've expected as an American from barbecue flavors. In the US, when a chip is flavored like barbecue, that means it tastes just like BBQ sauce - not like meat, or charcoal, or anything other than sauce. That suits me just fine, because it's both what I grew up with, and a delicious tasty treat.

It's a bit hard to tell since most of the packaging is made up of some weird advertisement for the Cheetos mobile website X Thomas the Tank Engine, but behind that is a picture of grilled meat that doesn't look like it's covered in sauce. "Zuh?" I was heard to query, "but where's the sauce?"

Apparently, Japanese BBQ means charcoal grilled meat, with a dipping sauce that's mostly soy sauce, rice wine, and other kind of thing and slightly vinegar-y tastes. Not exactly American style barbecue slathered in red sauce.

So the taste really reflected that. In the USA we don't have many beef or otherwise meat flavored chips, but here in the UK I know that is quite classic. My husband likened these to NikNaks Rib 'n' Saucy flavor...never had them, but I appreciate the regionality of the 'n'.

To me, they tasted quite sweet at first (like all of the Japanese Cheetos do, really) but after a few crunches they taste very onion-y, beefy & smokey. Really nice! I can taste the meatiness, for sure - and even the sort of charcoal smoke from being grilled, in the same way you can taste that in a Burger King cheeseburger.

It wasn't like American BBQ, but then again I didn't expect it to it says right there (presumably) Japanese Barbecue.

The taste was way more familiar to my husband than it was to me, I found the meaty and onion-y taste of these really interesting and strange, and quite tasty - while to him, it was quite a bit like these Nik Naks.

NikNaks, for those of you not in the know (such as me) are an English snack quite similar to Cheetos, except they come in every flavor but cheese. Apparently there was a cheese flavor, but for whatever reason it was discontinued. Now it is Lemon 'n' Scampi (huh), Rib 'n' Saucy (wuh), Pickle 'n' Onion (buh), and finally Nice 'n' Spicy (now that I get). So...weird.

What's up with that? When I think about it, I never see people eat Quavers, either - and I really like them, and the other cheesy airy puffs of their ilk. Is artificial cheese flavor just not that well liked here? Is it because it's so much more culturally acceptable to eat literal cheese in Europe? That makes sense, I suppose. Still though, you're missing out. Fake cheese isn't meant to substitute for the real thing, just like beef jerky isn't the same as steak - but the two can coexist peacefully and happily in a family's shopping cart.

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