Calbee Baked Onion

For my first review on Snack World, I thought I’d go with something which most people are familiar with – at least in some form or other: onion rings. Before I get down to the review itself, I’ll do a little explaining for those completely unacquainted with Korean. So what exactly is구운 양파?

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구운 양파, or ‘gu-woon yang-pa’ (literally, ‘baked onion’), are baked onion rings. I was a little confused with this product, as Calbee (カルビ) is a Japanese snacks manufacturer – and yet the product is obviously in Korean, and marketed as such. I’ve simply decided to treat it as a Korean snack.

To get right into things, let me say that this the best bag of onion rings I’ve ever had, and that’s no exaggeration. In the U.K we have several different brands, though none of them compare. Not even close.

Oftentimes, and this isn’t exclusive to onion flavoured crisps, the taste smacks of the artificial. You can tell it’s supposed to be onion, though the delivery isn’t what you expect. As a result, the experience is nothing more than an ‘ehhhh, they’re alright’, rather than the response they ought to elicit, which is more like ‘I NEED MORE, NOW’.

The taste here is as genuine as eating the real deal. Flavoursome, strong (but not overpowering), and is characteristic enough of what it’s supposed to be that you really enjoy eating them.

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The texture, too, contributes to the experience. As any foodie will tell you, texture is an equally important facet of the eating experience, as well as flavour, temperature, and a myriad of other qualities. These onion rings don’t have the typically hard, ‘sharp’ texture that most baked crisps do; they’re softer, and produce less of that ear-splitting crunch when eating. It lessens that experience of ‘I can’t hear anything but my own crunching’ – which I’m sure everyone will agree is quite annoying, especially if you’re trying to watch a movie, or some television at the same time.

What about portion size? These are bigger than your average bag of Walkers, or McCoys, but smaller than what you might call a ‘family bag’ of say, Sensations, or Kettle Chips. I’m not a small guy, and these were certainly enough for me. You can be fat and eat them in one sitting, or split them into a few portions throughout the day. There aren’t so few that you feel as though you’ve been cheated (I’m looking at you, Walkers); but there aren’t so many that you feel obligated to finish the bag, having already gnashed through two-thirds of its contents. Then the bloat sets in. My god, the bloat. Thankfully, there isn’t any of that.

A solid addition to any daily lunch or mid-movie snack.

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