Snacks from Japan: Calbee Cheese-Bit

Our “Snacks from…” series treats you to different snacks found in the World Showcase pavilions at Epcot. Find more reviews here! Continuing our series, we head to Mitsukoshi in the Japan Pavilion!

 Today’s Snack from Japan is Calbee’s Cheese-Bit. Matt and I are both fans of cheese flavored snacks, so he was probably happy to see me come home with these as opposed to some of the seafood flavored items I sometimes buy when I’m at Mitsukoshi. The package boasts that this snack has been part of the Calbee lineup since 1978. It also advertises that it uses three cheeses, which appear to be a cheddar, a brie, and perhaps cheese tara (those stick-like pieces).

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There are two servings in a package, and have a similar calorie and fat count as similar chip-like snacks you’d find here in America. Interesting ingredient to note is the powdered plum. And I wonder what the ingredient list is for the cheese powder, as cheese tara utilizes cod in processing it (unless it’s a vegetarian version, I suppose). Of course, there likely aren’t three actual cheeses in this, so we won’t worry too much.

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snacks-from-japan-calbee-cheese-bit-package-back-detail-1  snacks-from-japan-calbee-cheese-bit-package-back-detail-2 History of Cheese-Bit packaging

The chips are a puffy wheat version, reminiscent of Doritos 3D (oh how I miss thee, Jalapeno Cheddar!), but without the open-air center. Upon opening the bag, you could smell the faux cheddar scent, similar to opening the cheese package from boxed mac and cheese, but it wasn’t as aggressive.

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The corn used in these chips lent them a prominent sweet corn flavor. Because of this, there was a salty-sweet balance happening with the snack.

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The cheese flavor was mild – I would have liked a bit more of it to counter the sweetness of the corn, but still, this was a really good snack. Both Matt and I could easily snack on these mindlessly while drinking a beer and watching a game. I think this is a snack we’d pick up again, but I don’t know if I’d necessarily seek out. From the savory snacks from Japan we’ve tried so far in 2014, we’d be reaching for the Koikeya Karamucho Rich Cut Hot Chili Potato Chips first.

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Have you ever tried Calbee Cheese-Bit? What are your thoughts on it?

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