My blogging schedule is all out of whack this week thanks to a nice wave of viral plague that has been sweeping through our household. It took down my husband first and despite my best efforts to avoid it (read: washing my hands 50 times a day and taking out a restraining order against my husband) I've now got my own personal case of The Crud that's sapping my energy and making me feel like I'm walking around wearing someone else's prescription eyeglasses. Luckily the baby seems to have avoided getting sick so far which is really all that matters, because if the baby ain't sleepin', ain't nobody sleepin'.
But nevertheless, I did manage to drag myself to my computer to finish this post, and it's a good one, because I'm really, really, really jazzed about discovering these Crunchmaster Popped Edamame Chips. I'm sure most of you have had edamame beans, most likely at your favorite Japanese restaurant. Edamame is a young soybean that's been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden. Prior to finding these chips, the only way I've enjoyed edamame is in the pod - boiled, salted, and lightly peppered. We frequently order them in restaurants and we've also easily made them at home. They have a mild flavor and a firm-but-still-tender texture. They're also pretty great for you. They are naturally gluten free, low calorie, cholesterol free and are a great source of protein, iron and calcium.
Anyway, onto these chips! When I first saw the package I was seriously intrigued. Just how does one pop an edamame bean? I was imagining big, green, crispy puffs, but upon further inspection I realized I was very wrong! Popped edamame chips are actually a popped rice chip with bits of edamame scattered throughout the chip. Ohhhh, okay. That makes much more sense.
How's about some nutrition facts and ingredients info? Well, here you go! You can click on the image for bigger version. I tried the two varieties of popped edamame chips available - wasabi soy and sea salt.
I tried the sea salt flavor first. Opening the bag I caught a slight earthy aroma that's typical of edamame beans. The chips themselves are firm, not at all greasy, and shaped like scoops that would be great for dipping. Crunching into one I found that they don't really have the texture of a typical "puff". They're less airy and more firm with a great solid crunch. I was afraid that the rice flavor would overpower the bits of edamame beans, but I was pleasantly surprised that the flavor comes through enough to be able to take a bite and realize, yep, there be edamame beans in these suckers.
The popped edamame wasabi soy chips are similar in appearance, but these have more of a reddish color that's probably due to the soy sauce. Taking a sniff was a bad idea since I practically burned out my nose hairs. Hello, wasabi! They aren't messing around here, the wasabi is front and center and totally crushes any aroma of soy. Matt and I both took a bite and our immediate reaction was, "mmmMMMM!!!" These are good, you guys. In fact, they are fantastically good. You get that same sharp wasabi bite as if you were eating the green stuff straight up, but it's not powerful enough to be painful. It's juuuuust right.
Oh, and these are a great snack to have around when you've got a cold, because they'll clear your sinuses right up!
The soy sauce flavor is there, but it's merely a back-up dancer to the wasabi, who is undoubtedly the star of the show. The firm-but-puffy texture of the rice cracker works well here and the little edamame bits help to round out the whole flavor profile. These are all-around amazing, and I was giddy when I saw that they are sold in my regular ole grocery store where I do my weekly shopping trips. So if we get the urge to pilfer through another bag of these, they'll be easy to get!
What they cost: ~$3.89 per 4oz bag
We were provided a sample of Crunchmaster popped edamame chips to review and share with you. We do not accept free product or compensation in return for a fully positive review. Remember our motto: if it sucks, we'll tell ya!