Glico (makers of Pocky) also make other products too. I guess that this makes sense as there are lots of similar style products to chocolate on a stick that you can make with the same set up - namely just chocolate, and just bread sticks. Glico Pretz are essentially just that - hard salted bread sticks without the chocolate. Around Chinese New Year I noticed that Sing Fat Birmingham had increased their range so bought nine boxes - one of each flavour I thought I could eat safely - and here is a selection.
We'll start on the left:
Salad. It isn't very exciting is it? You'd expect that you'd have bread sticks in salad, and not the other way round but Glico do things differently. Looking at their ingredients lists and ignoring all the standard things you'd expect this is what the manufacturers consider salad (in order):
Chicken Seasoning (with real Chicken & onion juice)
Green vegetable powder
They did say all food in the 21st Century would come in powder form, but I don't think that they expected it to be put into bread dough. And three kinds of onion is possibly a bit of overkill. And chicken in a salad? Nice for me, nasty hidden treat for the veggies.
Actually, while they do taste like tangy onion bread these aren't too bad and while they lack the sweetness of the tomato ones do have a nicely compelling quality to them. Must be the Sake dregs...
I think these are almost the 'plain' or ready salted of the Pretz range that I managed to find. They are fairly simple things and would go well with pretty much any food that you add butter to. Thanks to the generous flavour added these too are quite nice. It's like buttered breadsticks but without the mess.
As they are much less substantial than any normal food a good English boy would eat (toast, crumpets, muffins, more crumpets) they make me quite hungry. That said these ones don't taste of onions and don't have the gag reflex of the Sweet-corn Pretz (although this butter flavour is definitely used in that recipe too, just mixed with something truly evil) so I think I'd probably buy more of these too.
I need to inflict these on some willing participants to see what they think of them, but despite being one of the flavours I least looked forward to it actually captures the flavour quite well. It's not Kerry Gold but it's a start.
I hate "curry flavour". I hate it with a passion. Always have, always will. If something is just labelled as curry it's usually just some cheap meat with spices thrown at it. There are wonderful spiced dishes from all around the world, Korma, Dopiaza, Bhuna, Madras, Phaal, Thai red & green etc. all fantastic dishes that describe what they have in them, and they are all types of curry. BUT. The word curry, by itself, as a flavour for a product should be seen as a warning sign. Tandoori Chicken flavour is good, curry flavour is lazy and vague. Home grown meals that are curry are usually fine, it's just the pre-packaged stuff that I avoid.
I was hoping that Curry Taste Pretz would be not lazy in the recipe but lazy in the name, after-all what Japanese people see as a common Indian dish may not translate to the international market. After some very tentative openings of the package I was quite relieved when the smells that wafted out hinted of actual spices and not chemicals that taste a bit like spices. Pulling out the sticks is a treat as the dust falls away from them and you can smell the spices being released.
I really was apprehensive about this one (almost as much as the fish ones in the next set) but it's a joy to eat. Forget trying to make decent popadoms at home in the microwave and get these as starters for your dinner party. They are fairly strong in flavour but not too hot which is just how I like it (and how the curries I've had on the Indian sub-continent actually tasted).
If you hate curry you will hate them I guess, but there is enough difference in flavour from one bite to the next that it stays interesting and with a dip would be a fantastic conversation point. You only need 3 or 4 of these at a time really, so unless I had a party planned I don't think I would buy them regularly. I'll stick to my favourite Peach & Lychee curry from Spices Cuisine in Bromsgrove for now.