I love rice crackers. I have a veritable passion for them. One of the great sadnesses in my life has been the baseless, cruel attack on MSG by the health fascists. MSG is good. MSG in rice crackers is good. Rice crackers without MSG are an abomination.
Now, I admit I can be a bit slow sometimes, and I’ll admit that it took me until a week ago to realize that in the age of the Interwebz, I could go online and find the forbidden MSG-laden rice-crackers. A week later, and the goods have started to roll in, so I’m going to start a series of reviews.
Not all of these rice crackers have MSG. Some didn’t list their ingredients, and I ordered them just because they looked good and came from a company which sold other things containing MSG.
In my ratings, 5 really is “average.” It means edible, worth the money if nothing better is available.
JFC, Nori Maki Arare Rating: 5
No MSG; can be had at Wegmans. Passable, but not outstanding. They’re the logs wrapped in seaweed, of which I’m fond. The sodium content is reasonable, and they’re flavorful despite not having MSG; their real selling point is the nori, so if you don’t have a taste for seaweed, they’re not worth it. I’m going to use them as the baseline.
Pacific Mercantile CO, Hana Arare Rating: 3
They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk. They look exactly like the crackers of old San Francisco Chinatown circa 1973, but I’ll bet they have no MSG in them. They are missing that distinctive zing, and the flavor is flat. Not worth the carbohydrates.
Bin-Bin rice cracker Rating: 6
A product of Thailand, these crackers come in individual plastic pouches and look for all the world like little cookies. The flavor on these is nice, if a bit sweet for my taste. I prefer savory, but if you like a sweet cracker, these are pretty nice, and have a good MSG flavor.
I still have about a dozen different products to go through, but I can only eat so many crackers in a sitting, so the rest will come in another post. Stay tuned for more MSG, sodium-laden goodness!