Spicy Snacks

An investigation into a small selection of spicy snacks available in Bali came about after a visit to Galael Supermarket to buy fruit! As always when in a supermarket, I can not resist scanning the shelves. Every section contains a selection of unusual products that are unfamiliar. I could probably do a post on each section, and if I did, my very next one would be about beauty products available for women. Most skin products promote whitening agents, highlighting the whole “White Skin is Beautiful” perception in Indonesia which is equivalent to the western belief that “Tanned skin is Healthy & Beautiful”. Look out for that upcoming post….

Back to savoury delicious snacks not available in Australia….yet.

My first packet that I sampled was:20131129-094024.jpgThese were from Europe (Holland?) and were added to my collection because of the flavour – ‘Chili & Paprika’. 20131129-094343.jpgThey looked like potato chips should but the spiciness factor was very disappointing. Of all the packets sampled, these were the least spicy. I then looked at the ingredients and discovered that they were the only packet I had bought that didn’t use minyak sawit (palm oil), however like all the others, they included the ingredient MSG.20131129-094748.jpg
Flavour 3/10
Spiciness 3/10

The next packet I opened was this one:20131129-095147.jpgI love the boy on the front kicking a soccerball! If only he had a rice field farmer conical hat so that he looked more Indonesian! This brand of snack is made in Bogor, so it is Indonesian, not Mexican! 20131129-095722.jpg
Unfortunately the chips were stale so my impression of them was totally spoiled and influenced by their staleness. Weirdly they were slightly sweet, not what I expected at all and even more strangely, nothing in the list of ingredients explained the sweetness. I have never tasted cassava that sweet before either!20131129-100031.jpgThe ingredients look like a list of all the foods I try to avoid! Scary isn’t it?
Flavour 3/10
Spiciness 7/10

The next packet to be sampled for this post were:

These are made by the same company as the previous packet and infinitely more delicious for many reasons but most importantly, they were not stale!

They tasted to me like a slightly chili flavoured cheezle. I really enjoyed the texture of these however the chili flavour was very mild. Here is the list of ingredients which is identical to the previous list which makes me wonder if I didn’t leave it long enough between packets to do the taste test! As this was definitely the only packet I would buy again, I will have to do so if only to test them again!!

Flavour 7/10
Spiciness 3/10

Because of the possibility that the spice factor of the previous test was corrupted, we took a break until the following afternoon to continue the testing. I was also feeling a little queasy after reading the list of ingredients, but as we were half way through, I decided to continue and see this post through to the end!
After a relaxing afternoon by the pool, reading our kindles, we returned to our room to savour the next packet.

Inside this box we discovered individually wrapped single serves:

of this:

20131129-102650.jpgThese were the weirdest savoury biscuits I have ever tasted because they were covered in sugar! The sugar and chili flavours might go together nicely for some people, but it didn’t work for me at all.
Flavour 1/10
Spiciness 5/10

Another packet we tried that day was this one:

20131129-103046.jpgBec & I love Indonesian peanuts and these are a classic example – peanuts covered in a crunchy baked crisp shell made from a sort of spicy batter I am guessing.

20131130-080032.jpgThe brand is ‘Dua Kelinci’ a very well known and huge company here. On the back of the packet is a very interesting picture:

20131129-104914.jpgTurns out that Dua Kelinci is a major sponsor of the the famous Spanish soccer Club, Real Madrid!

Flavour 7/10
Spiciness 3/10

After consuming horrendous quantities of food colouring and MSG, I slept very poorly and am sure it was entirely due to the unusual concoction of ingredients found in these snacks.The next day I gave my body a break and sure enough that night I slept very well! As I still had a couple of packets yet to be opened, I decided to complete my ‘research’ (eating)the next morning which would hopefully give my body enough time to process it (& eliminate it) well before bedtime!

So the following morning (before breakfast!) I tried:

20131130-071835.jpgThese were absolutely beautiful and without doubt the spiciest snack of the lot! I could only have one stick and just that one seared my mouth with chili! Bec had a few and then had to drink a whole bottle of water! Scarily though, this packet has nothing on it other than the label

20131130-072217.jpgso can only assume the ingredients are identical to the packets above athough with a considerably higher concentration of chili! I love the options of spiciness available with this snack; ‘extra pedas’ or ‘super extra pedas’ (pedas = spicy)!!
Flavour 10/10
Spiciness 10/10

I then finished up my research by opening this packet

20131130-072854.jpgand was so disappointed as I just adore tempeh. What is tempeh, do I hear you ask? Here is a screen shot from Wikepedia:

20131130-073227.jpgTempeh is very popular in Indonesia and there are so many ways to prepare it but unfortunately this is not one of the successful methods!

20131130-073338.jpgDo they look like cardboard chips to you? That is exactly what they tasted like! The spiciness factor was good though but unfortunately the tempeh flavour was too faint and I also didn’t like the really oily texture. Very disappointing actually.
Flavour 1/10
Spiciness 7.5/10

That is the end of the selection we bought from Galael however if we find another variety worth adding to this post, I will add a post script! Which ones would you be interested in trying?


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