Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tako Chips- H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ

Tako Chips- H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ
A different kind of Tako Tuesday! That's right, these are little seafood flavored crisps that are shaped like tiny octopuses. (Although I much prefer the term octopi, apparently octopuses is correct.)

I've always liked seafood, but I thought of it as a meal or main course. It wasn't until I started writing Sometimes Foodie that I began trying seafood flavored snack foods, like these crab chips, and I ended up liking them a lot more than I thought I would. I fell in love with this silly packaging during my last trip to H-mart, but let's see if the snacks inside are just as appealing.

The bag has this nice matte finish, which photographed really nicely, and the design is very pink-heavy with a snorkeling octopus character. Although, out of all of the design elements on this bag, the logo is what stood out for me. The bright yellow against a deep brown stroke just feels so retro. Plus, that font is really bubbly and quirky and when it's mixed with that really thin sans serif font to the left the combination made the graphic designer side of me really happy. Sure the little octopus character is really cute, and I'm sure the little mascot would appeal to kids and younger shoppers, but the font and the potential to photograph little octopus shaped snacks is what really made me buy this product. (Whenever I look at the little mascot's face I imagine him making a "noot, noot!" sound like in Pingu.) 
I opened up the bag, excited to see the little octopus-shaped chips inside, but .... 
Noot noot!
They looked more like a giant fried Goldfish cracker than an octopus. (Boo!) Unlike the photo on the packaging there are no little cut out triangular feet and there are no ridges to this chip. Visually, this was like false advertizing, but I understand making chips shaped like a little 8-legged sea creature would be difficult to mass produce. Maybe they'll taste really amazing to make up for the visual deception?

Although the chips don't have much of a scent to them, other than the oily aroma that comes from most fried foods, the flavoring is really nice. It's not a bold and in-your-face seafood flavoring, it's more on the subtle side, but it's really enjoyable. The fried crisp is light and airy, similar to the crab chips I reviewed before, but it's sweeter than I originally thought it would be. The sweetness is reminiscent of imitation crab meat, but there is also a hint  of smokey fish flavor (like bonito flakes), and some seafood seasonings.

The bag may say "seafood" but I think that these might be octopus flavored. After looking these up on Google I had a really hard time finding a seafood flavored version of these, so now I am wondering if this is an item that was repacked with a different name to appeal to foreigners. Although this tastes more like imitation crab to me than anything else, I can see this being an attempt to recreate a takoyaki or other octopus-related snack food.
Check out the full sized photo to read but trust me, it's there.

Sure enough, octopus powder is listed in the ingredients section. So the mystery is solved. These are re-packaged to appeal more to other cultures that aren't so keen on octopus, which makes sense as far as marketing goes, but I would have bought these anyway.

They might look more fishy than octopus-y, but I really liked these a lot. The flavoring is savory and sweet with a nice crispy texture. I don't think these chips come in any other flavors, but I would happily repurchase this one. (I kind wish the bag was bigger so I could put these out at parties, but I don't know how many of my friends would appreciate consuming octopus powder. Oh well, more for me!)
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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