I'm Eating What?! Wakabato Kani Chips

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Photo by Riki Altman
Some people see a bag of pink chips with Japanese characters and illustrations reminiscent of either Red Fraggle or someone's head being molested by a crab and pretend like it doesn't even exist. Me, I grab the pouch and count the minutes until I can tear it open, eager to discover if its contents will make me want to puke or indulge.

The verdict is still out on this bag of goodies I picked up at an Asian market, though. Mostly devoid of taste, wakabato kani chips (or so they're called on the
translated label on the package's backside) were mainly created for entertainment value, I suspect. They're made of corn starch, palm oil, rice powder, shrimp, crab, sugar, salt, amino acid, natural color, baking powder, and a whole lot of air. A dicey blend, at best.

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No scent emits from the bag when first opened, and aside from a slight sweetness, the chips have no aroma either. My first impression of the contents was, hmmm, these look like pink styrofoam rose petals (as if that's something I come across daily). I couldn't wait to shove them in my piehole anyhow.

Within seconds of the chip touching my tongue, sugary sweetness came across, followed closely by a hint of seafood. Kinda strange. I learned if I bite quickly enough, the chips are extraordinarily crunchy. But if I wait too long, the flavor evaporates and the chip goes soggy and soft like... well, you know what other pinkish things sometimes do that. Yet just for fun, let one chip sit on your tongue. You'll experience an exploding sensation better than Snap, Crackle, or Pop can deliver. Even if they were naked.

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