Kameda Happy Turn: Senbei Crackers with Magical Powder
When people think of the rice snack that represents Japan, many will probably bring to mind “Senbei (せんべい)”. In fact, it is one of the traditional Japanese rice crackers with centuries of history and today widely enjoyed in Japan.
With a somewhat thick, round shape, traditional Senbei is seasoned mainly with soy sauce or salt. But in modern times, as many food companies are producing and selling it, Senbei comes in many varieties and various flavors.
Among such products, Kaki no Tane, also known as Kameda Crisps, is one of the most popular Senbei, and Kameda Crisps is a product from Kameda Seika, a leading Japanese confectionery company whose head office is located in Niigata.
Actually, the prefecture where I live, Niigata is the largest producer of rice in Japan and the rice harvested here has a good reputation nationwide.
For that reason, besides Kameda Crisps, the confectionery maker Kameda Seika has a wide lineup of rice crackers, which include what I purchased this time “Happy Turn (ハッピーターン)”.
Kameda-Seika Happy Turn (亀田製菓 ハッピーターン)
What I introduce here, “Happy Turn (ハッピーターン)” was introduced by Kameda Seika in 1976. Today, the product has gained wide popularity and become one of the standard rice snacks in Japan.
The Happy Turn Senbei has a long, narrow, oval-like shape and is especially characterized by the particles of powder on the surface, which have an addictive umami taste that grabs the hearts of many people.
Happy Powder and Its Ingredients
The seasoning particles coated on the entire surface of the Happy Turn Senbei are officially called “Happy Powder”, but because of the taste that makes the eater addicted, it is sometimes dubbed “Maho no Kona (魔法の粉: Magical Powder)”.
Even though it indeed works like a magic, as mentioned in the article “ハッピーターン” on Japanese Wikipedia, many people have already known that the Happy Powder’s ingredients are sugar, salt, a number of amino acids, and protein hydrolysate.
It is said that the amino acids contained in the particles make the taste of Happy Powder complex and addictive. The taste of the magical powder is hard to describe but in a word, it is umami-rich salty-sweet.
Where to Buy
Not only has Kameda Seika Happy Turn been a favorite of Japanese people for decades, but it seems many overseas snack lovers are also addicted to it.
Maybe because of that, the Happy Turn Senbei can be bought on some online marketplaces outside of Japan.