Friday, October 10, 2008

TJ's Ginger Senbei Snacks, reviewed

To say the least, today's snack market is overly saturated. Walk down your favorite grocer's junk-food snack aisle and there is surely a treat for every discerning taste: super salty, no salt, a little salt, a little lime, zesty lime, sweet 'n salty, just plain.

With all these options, picking out a snack gets a little exhausting. However, I seem to have found a snack, a holy grail if you will, that makes all all other packaged snacks seem like the spam of the junk food world. Pirate's Booty, Funyuns, and Andy Capp's Hot Fries, move over.

Trader Joe's Ginger Senbei snacks are like little fortune cookies broken up and lightly covered in a sweet ginger coating. Admittedly unauthentic, TJ's packaging explains that "senbei are traditional Japanese crackers" though these ginger senbei benefit from "a little innovation," resulting in "flavors never considered by the Japanese." At least they're honest.


"Think of them as ginger-infused-ice-cream-cones without the ice cream." Need I say anymore?


Though not low in sugar, these snacks are fat free and have only 110 calories per 20 crackers. Not too shabby! I believe I purchased the senbei for about $3/bag. Though I'm grounded from visiting the grocery store this week, I cannot wait to head back out to Trader Joe's for another round of these sweet snacks. I'd love to try them with vanilla frozen yogurt or even as a coating for a dessert treat!What snacks are your holy grail?

36 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, intriguing!! Thanks for the review!!

noble pig said...

Now I'll have to try these! I've always wondered about them.

I love Cool Ranch Doritos...yep I just admitted it.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

They'll be great to roll ice cream scoops in!

Any Little Reason said...

We are about to get a Trader Joe's and I'm so excited - and now have even more reason to be! (And as far as snacks go, I am addicted to Cousin Willie's White Cheddar microwave popcorn.)

Katie said...

I bet these would be great with some ice cream!

alexandra's kitchen said...

thanks for the review! If only they were shaped slightly differently we could serve ice cream in them .... yum!

Helene said...

I never saw that snack before. This is so different.

Jennelle said...

My hubby LOVES fortune cookies, we're going to have to try these!

Lisa said...

These look great!I was at Tj's today and must have missed them. I practically live at that store! My snack of choice tonight was mini whole wheat pitas with hummus (both from Trader Joe's).

That Girl said...

I get all my snacks from Trader Joes. Right now I keep a constant supply of garlic hummus on hand and a bag of dried apricots in my desk. I'm going to have to try these.

Laura said...

Cape Cod Reduced Fat potato chips and fresh popcorn popped in olive oil. The first I need to be wary of or I will start eating waaaay too much.

Bunny said...

These sound really good! But...we don't have a Trader Joes around here. I like Lays BBQ chips.

Carmen said...

yum, these sound so good! i love trader joe's - i always want to try all the interesting things they have!

Apples and Butter said...

Those look delicious - I think I'm adding them to my TJ's list this week to sprinkle over ice cream

Emiline said...

Cool! I want to try those. I wish we had a Trader Joe's.

I like eating Chex Mix or nuts...

Jenny said...

Yum Sharon, those little snacks look so good. I like to snack on about anything sweet. Boston baked beans are deadly little candies that don't last long in a bowl in my house!

nobu said...

It's a rare Senbei,Interesting!!

Grace said...

these look and sound amazing. i'll mark them down as reason #856 why i wish i was anywhere near a trader joe's. :)

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Those do sound tempting! Thank you for sharing, I'll keep my eyes open for them next time I go grocery shopping.

Right now my snack "holy grail" (at least, on the savory side) is whole wheat crackers with mascarpone. Not too original, I admit, but who doesn't like cheese and crackers?!

Sharon said...

veggie girl - let me know if you try them!

noble pig - there's nothing wrong with doritos! I am a fan of the Doritos collisions.

clumbsy cookie - I just bought some ice cream...i think I'll have to try this!

any little reason - Trader Joe's is quite addicting. They always have new snacks.

Katie - I'm going to try tonight!

alexandra's kitchen - I'm going to crush some into my ice cream. I've always loved crushed waffle cone so I think I'll like this too!

helene - It's definitely something different than your normal snack.

jenelle - they're the same crunch & texture with a little bit of a different taste. Yum!

lisa - I found them in the new products section so you may want to check there!

that girl - I love the garlic hummus except for the bad breath. Eggplant hummus is also yummy.

laura - I'm the same way with a lot of salty snacks.

bunny - I hope one opens by you soon!

carmen - I know, I can never pick just a few things when I'm there.

apples & butter - let me know if you like them!

emiline - chex mix is dangerous. I can eat a bag in one sitting!

jenny - I'm the same way...lethal sweet tooth!

nobu - I'm guessing you've never seen these in Japan?

grace - I'm surprised they're not more dispersed geographically. I'll tell them to open one by you :)

ari - I love cheese & crackers but haven't tried them with mascarpone. Sounds tasty!

Prudy said...

I'm so so sad that we have no Trader Joe's. Sadder even still now that I know about these snacks.

NĂºria said...

These snacks sound and look wonderful! But I cannot find them here... I think!
I love potatoe chips and nuts♥

Aggie said...

Oh wow, these look good! I so wish I had a Trader Joe's around, I don't think there is even one in my state!

I'm a potato chip addict...love any kettle cooked chip, salt and vinegar is my favorite. (I'm trying not to think to hard about it so I can prevent a craving!!)

Hillary said...

Very interesting. I love fresh ginger but I haven't liked candied or crystallized ginger so I'm not sure that I would enjoy these. Definitely worth a try though, thanks for the review.

diva said...

i adore ginger. and these little snacks look so cute! hopefully i'll be able to find them in a shop here somewhere. i haven't seen anything like 'em before in england! or maybe i'm just not looking carefully enough x

Maris said...

I love Trader Joe's, these look really good!

It's funny how some snacks can just become addicting. I love graham cracker sticks.

Zesty Cook said...

This look very yummy!!! For snack - I love chocolate covered almonds, black licorice babies and some chips :)

Maria said...

Haven't seen these. Thanks for the update!
I like to snack on fruit, yogurt, pretzels...and cookies when I am being "bad"

tigerfish said...

I just love TJs....

Krysta said...

how fun can't wait to try those... my favorite snack is probably pistachios, boring...i know.

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh my God. I'm so bad with snacks. I can't even keep them in the house. Cheese its, ruffles potato chips, tortilla chips, cookies, fritos...

It's dangerous. Seriously. You have no idea.

Sophie said...

Yum! Sounds like a great snack. I once tried candied ginger and boy was that a real kick of spice, these sound much more tasty :).

Fuji Mama said...

I'm so excited to find out TJs has these! Actually, what's funny is I just moved back to the US from Japan and used to buy something EXACTLY like this in Japan. They were one of my favorite snacks.

Anonymous said...

These are WONDERFUL! I wish you could order them online, as the nearest Trader Joe's is three states away. One bag I got while traveling lasted a day. I LOVE these things! Yum!

Noel said...

Oh, those are delicious! I like to put a few of them with a scoop of the Mango Vanilla Soy Cream from TJs.... it is heavenly!

jgreely said...

I have no idea what they mean by "admittedly unauthentic". I buy those in Japanese grocery stores all the time, and first found them in a candy store in Kyoto. Trader Joe's might have tweaked the recipe slightly, but "ginger pinches" are quite authentically Japanese.

The best ones are very small and thin; sadly, the import brand that's the right size is rarely as fresh and crisp as it should be, so the TJ brand might be a good alternative.

-j