I wasn't quite sure where to post this, but I'm hoping
I can get some good ideas. I'm looking for some great
suggestions for packaged snacks. Not potato chips,
pretzels, and peanuts, but tasty, unusual munchies.
I'm thinking along the lines of wasabi peas, veggie
booty, even beef jerky (my personal favorite). Does
anyone have any ideas?
For starters I would go to these two places and peruse
racks and racks of exotic delicacies:
1-Any one of several Chinese supergroceries,(Kam Mam on
Canal Street, near Mulberry, comes to mind. There is
another good one on Mott, about 3 doors up from Chatham
Square) where you will find all things dessicated,
fried, and salty in portable packages. In fact, the
packages are often more interesting than the products
(creative use of English, etc.)
2-Similar Japanese grocers (Sunrise Market on the
corner of 3rd ave and Stuyvesant comes to mind, though
I hear there is a truly miraculous one out in
(Edgewater?) New Jersey). I love the tiny dried fish
they sell. So pungent!
re: keith koenigsberg
Yaohan, the enormous Japanese supermarket in Edgewater
that Keith is talking about (and is mentioned lots of
times across these boards), has a whole aisle of salty
dried fishy things, including bags of whole spiced
dried crabs about the size of a ritz cracker, and a
mixed dry seafood product that includes those crabs,
dry cuttlefish, squid, shrimp, those little anchovies,
clams, and all sorts of small swimmy creatures.
Also other salty snacky things like shrimp crackers,
green pea crackers (like shrimp crackers but made of
peas), clam jerky, many varieties of mixed
rice-cracker/nori cocktail munchies, etc.
Depending on where you're living, I would suggest
either Kam Man on Canal St. in Manhattan, or Sahadi's
on Atlantic Ave. in B'klyn. Kam Man has all the spicy
peas and shrimp chips and tons of other, beautifully
packaged stuff. You can even buy uncooked shrimp
chips, heat up some oil, and watch them bubble to
the surface in all their crispy glory. Both stores
have peanuts in a spicy cracker shell that are truly
addictive. Sahadi's also has tons of seeds and snack
mixes, probably at lower prices because you can buy in
bulk. And a nice little plate of olives from there
This requires a very little work, but is worth it.
Take pork rinds (I use the plain packaged kind), and
in the curve of each, place an anchovy rolled with a
caper. Electric -- I can feel the shivers down my
spine as I write about it. Good with beer, wine,
sherry, even chocolate milk.
It might also be good with the fresh chicharron you
can get in some mexican groceries.
Penelope Casas writes about it in her book on Tapas.
It is apparently very popular in the bars of Salamanca.
re: keith koenigsberg
keith koenigsberg writes: "1-Any one of several Chinese
supergroceries,(Kam Mam on Canal Street, near Mulberry,
comes to mind. There is another good one on Mott, about
3 doors up from Chatham Square) where you will find all
things dessicated, fried, and salty in portable
That is Kam Kuo, where you can also get a rattan
walking stick for $3.50. And yes, they also have a
great selection of teas in tins.
"In fact, the packages are often more interesting than
the products (creative use of English, etc.)"
Especially good are the Kasugai gummy candies
(available at many places in New York, particularly
Korean groceries); on the bag of pineapple gummy candy,
for instance, they comepare the pineapple to a
"Southern island king crowned in glory". That alone is
worth the price of admission. Or they talk about the
muscat (grape) gummy as being kissed by gentle breezes,
as from "a graceful lady". Gotta love that Japanglish.
I'm fond of the Indian mixed fried-noodle-and-legume
snack usually sold as 'Hot Mix.' It generally has a
couple of varieties of fried chickpea noodles, lentils,
spices including cardamom, chile, and cumin seeds,
raisins, and anything else the manufacturer sees fit to
put in. Any store on Lex in the 20s should have it, or
anywhere else people from South Asia hang out.
I've always thought the idea of wasabi chips would be
good. Maybe wasabi/shrimp crisps...
I once had a crazy packaged snack from England:
streaky bacon crisps. Bacon-flavored, deep fried
crispy things. I want to be reborn as a cardiologist
Is this market research?
not what you're looking for, I suppose, but this is as
good a place as any to mention one of my obsessions du
jour: low-fat Bugles. These are the only low fat snack
that taste good to me. In fact, they're
better...lighter and crisper. Of course, like just
about everything I like, they're nearly impossible to
Let's see, other than that I like the Asian crunchy pea
snacks (not the ones with wasabi, though), and Indians
make zillions of crunchy snack mixes, often dosed with
spices you'd not expected (hit Kalustyan's or Foods of
India on Lex for some).
Corn Bran cereal is one of my faves with milk, but it's
pretty good dry, too. Phillipine lemon (actually
kalamasi) soy sauce makes for awesome dipping of veggie
slices or anything else (even pencils would taste good
dipped in the stuff). Find it at any good Filipino
grocery (the one on first ave at 13th has it).
All-time best late night video in pajamas snack (other
than cereal) is pita stuffed with chunks of Armenian
string cheese, the whole thing heated wicked hot in a
broiler or toaster oven.
Best snack for long lazy nights of conversation with
friends: put some zatar (a middle eastern spice blend
featuring sucmac, thyme, and sesame seeds--no room to
go into detail here, but Syrian and Lebanese zatar have
different flavors and colors and you should try both)
in a flattish dish, pour some GOOD extra virgin olive
oil in another dish, and people dip thick slices of
warm good bread first in the oil then in the zatar.
Accompany with Belgian beer. It's really good (keep
most of the bread in the oven so there's always warm
stuff to serve).
I could go on...