Friday, August 27, 2010

Umaibo: Tasty Stick

No really, that's what it means.  Despite the weird (in english) name, umaibo are a really popular snack that comes in many many varieties.  They all consist of a very large corn puff, much like a Cheetos, and flavoring of some kind.

I recently got my hand on an assortment of flavors: Mentaiko (marinated roe of pollock), Vegetable Salad, Corn Pottage (grain soup), Teriyaki Burger, Tonkatsu Sauce (Often called Bull Dog sauce due to popular brand), Prawn Mayonnaise, and Cheese.  Clearly by Western standards some of these are exotic tastes or taste combination.  Having sampled all of these I can tell you some are better than others.

Mentaiko - The smell is really really fishy.  However, it tates like bbq sauce! Yummy!  Actually one of my favorite of the flavors, just enough sweet and sour to it.
I'm not sure why there is a mad scientist on it.
Note terrifying orange color.
Vegetable Salad - sweet and spicy with a lot of onion.  Very delicious, but doesn't taste like salad or vegetables (not counting the onion).  I could eat this flavor anytime.
Nothing says vegetable salad like bike riding clowns and a monkey!
Pretty normal looking with vegetable spots.
Corn Pottage - light sweet taste with a hint of spice.  Tastes kind of like ChiChi's corn casserole.   A nice subtle taste.  This flavor wont have you jumping over the moon but is very good.
I don't know what the corn is saying, but I think it's happy.
Yellow . . .
Teriyaki Burger - Very sweet and a bit of spice .  Aftertaste is not as pleasant as the initial flavor. Not very teriyaki or burger flavored.  Maybe my least favorite as it was just too sweet and had such a funny after taste.
See there is an implied link to an actual burger in the packaging.
I imagine the brown spots are "flavoring."
Tonkatsu Sauce - Smells and tastes like Tonkatsu sauce.  Gets spicer as you eat it and the aftertaste is only the spice flavor.  Much spicer than the Bull Dog brand sauce I usually buy.  This flavor is also very sweet, probably my second least favorite flavor.
He's like an astronaut or something . . .
Intense brown "flavor" spots . . .
Prawn Mayonnaise - Smells very strongly of shrip and sugar, but tastes like japanese mayo with a hint of shrimp.  Really not a very strong flavor, but a very nice flavor.  One of my favorites.
The prawn travels with his own mayo, convenient!
Not too much color.
Cheese - Initially there is a nice strong cheese flavor, but then it fades to corn puff.  I'm completely indifferent to this flavor as it was a complete bore.
Is it a cheesy singer?
It doesn't look boring.
In the end I suggest buying some Umaibo if you get the chance.  Super fun and super yummy!

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