Chiitara – Fish cheese snacks known as a popular Otsumami in Japan
Have you ever heard of Otsumami?, or do you know the meaning of the Japanese word?
We Japanese call the snack foods eaten as accompaniments to alcoholic drinks ‘Otsumami (おつまみ)’.In short, the Japanese word means finger foods or nibbles.
If I give some examples of typical Japanese Otsumami snacks, Kaki no Tane (, or Kameda crisps) that are classic spicy Japanese rice crackers, Kamaboko (かまぼこ) that is traditional Japanese boiled fish paste, and Japanese cheese snacks called Chiitara (チータラ) fall under such snacks.
Speaking of my favorite Otsumami snacks, Chiitara is one of the best Otsumami snacks for me.
Chiitara fish cheese snacks
|Natori – Chiitara (チータラ) Otsumami Snack|
As a matter of fact, the Chiitara cheese snack is one of the most popular Otsumami snacks in Japan.The cheese snack, Chiitara (チータラ), consists of a stick of cheese sandwiched between two thin dried fish pastes.
The Japanese term, Chiitara, is composed of 2 words, that is, Chii (Chee) and Tara.As you can guess, the former, Chii (chee), stands for cheese, while the latter word, Tara (鱈) ,means codfish.From the meaning of the word, you can see that the thin dried fish paste is mainly made from codfish.
The original product of Chiitara is named ‘Cheese Tara (チーズ鱈)’, which was created and released by Natori (なとり), a major Japanese food company, in 1982.The Cheese Tara snack, as well as Chiitara, has been loved as a long-seller item by Japanese for decades.
|Natori – Cheese Tara (チーズ鱈) Otsumami Snack|
The difference between Chiitara and Cheese Tara
Cheese Tara is apparently the same as Chiitara cheese snacks.However the dried fish paste of Cheese Tara snacks is made using only codfish as its fish ingredients.On the other hand, the thin fish paste of Chiitara is made with a mixture of codfish and some fish.
Although, generally the Cheese Tara snack is pricier than the Chiitara snack, I feel the taste and flavor of Cheese Tara are almost the same as those of Chiitara.
Places where Chiitara cheese snacks are available
Chiitara cheese snacks are available at almost any supermarket and convenience stores in Japan since we Japanese love eating the fish cheese snacks along with beer.Fortunately the Japanese fish cheese snacks can be bought in countries other than Japan via Internet these days.