Thursday, February 26, 2009

あさりバター ポテトチップス

Fresh baby littlenecks with a slathering of butter - just what you want your potato chip to taste like. Right? OK, maybe not, but in the seeming endless variations and inventiveness in creating adding umami to chips, you gotta give to the folks at Calbee for trying.  Some work great. Nori and ume flavored chips come to mind. And in fact the Asari Butter Potato Chip (あさりバター ポテトチップス) is not all that bad. The chip is basic - thin, moderately salted, unexceptional.  And the butter taste is not nearly as rancid and cloying as in many a butter-flavored Japanese potato chip. 

The clam taste is nearly non-existent. But a strange thing happens. As you eat the chips, take a little sniff of your fingers. Smells like shellfish! Or...? Mmmm. Salty, fishy, a little funky and buttery - seems that Calbee may be working another angle on satiating desire. I imagine the food techies at Calbee in their spare time working on how to chemically recreate the smell of sex and... bingo!  But what do you do with it now? Hey, let's put on a chip and call it clam butter.