Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm A Small Potato

No mistake about this headline at all, that is the name of this snack pack.

I love it when manufacturers call a spade a spade, except when the "spade" also contains 17 other ingredients which presumably add something to the product and the packaging then needs to include the words "Potato Sticks" to ensure that consumers don't take legal action when they feel they've been mis-led.

I also have to ask, when there are so many alternate potato products out there, why package what are effectively potato chips in a can?!!

Having become more environmentally aware, part of me dislikes what I think of as excess packaging.  On top of the can is a small plastic cap - yes, it bears the Calbee label and provides a nice place to stick the importer's details and is obviously meant to provide the consumer with a means to re-seal the can, once the inner ring-pull is opened.
But given how the contents "settle"during transport giving the consumer only this much ...

... i.e., the small portion enclosed, is it actually likely that this will ever be used? Being an avid snacker, I know that once I taste something good, I'm going to want to eat as much as I can before someone else gets hold of it!

Here is the can compared to a 10 cm (I'd call it medium rather than small) potato. 
And served up on a bread plate, the sum total of all the parts (yes, all of that came out of the can).

Having examined the aforementioned ingredients list (pictured below), and having an aversion to tomato and soy sauce powders in particular, I was rather sceptical of enjoying the taste of these.

Interestingly, they were the mildest tasting "flavoured" potato sticks I have eaten and I managed to polish off pretty much the whole lot over the course of half an hour.

It may well be that this is an actual potato sliced up rather than the re-constituted potato mix extruded from a machine that I expected. If so, bravo! 

I even gave it the "grease test" by resting a small bundle of these on a paper towel for 10 minutes.
 There was very little residue of oil once I had finished eating these.
So here we have a good product marred by its packaging. While I have to acknowledge that it was manufactured for the Japanese market (who it is said already have a garbage crisis) and I like the little "Made On Earth" note indicating that these could one day be exported to any potato-loving aliens out there, I would be more inclined to indulge in a pack of plain Kettle Chips which contain only 3 ingredients: potato, oil & salt. It tasted pretty much the same!


  1. LOL at Made on Earth sticker comment. They're really thinking ahead aren't they! :P

  2. Made on Earth? That's hilarious.

    I like Japanese snacks, they are always so amusing. Your oil test comforts me. At least I know that if I ever pick a can of these up, I can eat them without chopsticks. (Yes, I'm weird like that, but I rather dislike oily fingers)

  3. Maybe it was supposed to say "Made IN Earth" to reflect the potatoes'origins, hehe!

  4. the name!! I've never done the grease test- sounds like heaps of fun....hehe- you know what I'll be doing for the next hour or so with the chips in my household!! =D

  5. Maybe they know something we don't in regard to potato snacking aliens?? The sticks look quite chunky, but wow the additives.

  6. The name and labelling are cute, but you're right about there being too much packaging (not to mention E621!). And this is coming from someone who likes chips so much that she is starting to resemble a small potato =)

  7. Made on Earth..., really thinking ahead aren't they.

  8. I love Japanese snacks... And Kettle chips... And pretty much any thing that involved deep-frying... LOL at the 'Made on Earth'!

  9. Hi Lorraine, Ya Ya, Von, Sara, Anna, Vivian & Jen, thanks for visiting!

    Celeste, I'm with you! I hate greasy or sticky fingers too!

    And Belle, I could live on potato done any way - cakes, steamed, boiled, fried, mashed, hashed, croquette'd (is that an adjective?!!) so that's why this product was so apt for me! He he!

  10. The longer the list at the back of the packaging, the more artificial it is. What a crazy product! :-D