It's official. Between the Yan Yans, yakitori and sweet-and-salty rice crackers, Japan is the master of snack food. And when it comes to chip flavors, the U.S. doesn't even come close.
When we heard about the Avocado and Cream Cheese Doritos flavor that launched last October, we were intrigued, and jealous. But as it turns out, in the grand spectrum of "gourmet" Doritos flavors in Japan -- yes some bags of special flavors have the word gourmet written on them -- avocado and cream cheese is pretty tame.
Once you start talking about butter and soy sauce, and a flavor called rich cheese and double fried, you realize avocado and cream cheese is just the beginning. Here's a list of 15 flavors we need here in the U.S. We could handle more than nacho cheese and cool ranch if we were only given the chance.
1. Krazy Mixed Up Salt: There's a bottle of Jane's Crazy Salt on the bag and slices of steak. We're imagining these tasting like the well seasoned, crusty edges of a piece of meat after you've seared it.
2. Mozza Napoli, Pizza-La: We have pizza-flavored crackers and Pringles here in the States, but tomato and cheese on a corn chip sounds like a winning combination. And it's not just any pizza. Pizza-La, a popular national Japanese pizza chain, helped create the flavor.
3. Pepper Bacon: Bacon and pepper. Need we say more?
4. Rich Cheese and Double Fried: We're not really sure what the rich cheese even means, but we want it. The chips are double fried so they are crispier, which is already a plus. Pair that with any kind of cheese flavor and we're sold.
5. Shrimp Mayonnaise and Double Fried: We're hoping this tastes like a bite of honey walnut shrimp, the sweet and salty mayonnaise shrimp dish with candied walnuts you can find at some Chinese restaurants. Or it may just taste like a shrimp chip dipped in mayo.
6. Yuzu: A chip that has the tart, citrus flavor of the yuzu fruit is bound to be like the Limon flavor we have in the U.S., with an extra kick of citrus.
7. Corn Soup: Creamy corn soup is an odd flavor for corn chips, but we think they may be onto something with this one.
8. Sesame Chicken: There's a plate of sesame fried chicken and beer on the bag. If each bite actually tastes like a mouthful of sesame chicken, washed down with a cold beer, we're in.
9. Savory Butter: Maybe it tastes like movie theater popcorn. Or maybe it just tastes like the sizzling pads of butter featured on the bag. The more butter, the better.
10. Fried Chicken: Fried chicken and fried chicken-flavored anything is a good thing.
11. Butter and Soy Sauce: It's a match made in flavor heaven.
12. Coconut Curry: Curry tends to be intense, and stick with you. If these chips taste anything like Japanese curry, we're in love.
13. Camembert Cheese: Anyone who's ever tried this creamy cheese knows it's good on everything.
14. German Potato: The bag features a large beer and a bowl of cut, browned potatoes. Corn chips that taste like potato chips could be interesting, but we're hoping there's some beer involved.
15. Anchovy and Garlic: Many good dishes start with anchovy paste and/or garlic. The same should apply to chips, but you may not want to breathe on someone after eating these.
Got a favorite flavor? Let us know in the comments below.
Want more quirky food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_
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