Bakauke: 5 Modern Flavors of Senbei Crackers from Befco
Japan, as well as other countries, has some one-of-a-kind snacks that are unlike any other in the world. With a long history, “Senbei (煎餅)” is probably one of them.
As you may already know, Senbei is one of the traditional Japanese rice crackers, traditionally made of non-glutinous rice called “Uruchi-Mai (うるち米)” that has been steamed, pounded, molded into round shapes, and grilled or baked.
Traditional Senbei crackers typically have a hard crunchy texture and are flavored mainly with soy sauce or salt.
However, in modern times, Senbei comes in many varieties and various flavors and tends to be flavored using flavoring agents that are favored by the present generation.
A quintessential example of such modern Senbei products is Befco’s “Bakauke (ばかうけ)”, and in fact, the maker’s Senbei series has various flavors that children and young generations tend to prefer.
Befco Bakauke Senbei
The Senbei, Bakauke was first introduced in 1990 by “Kuriyama Beika (栗山米菓)”, also known as Befco, a Niigata-based confectionery company, and today, it has become one of the standard rice snacks in Japan.
The product I picked up this time is an assortment of 5 flavors of Bakauke, made up of “Corn Potage (コーンポタージュ)”, “Ao-Nori Shoyu (青のりしょうゆ: Green Seaweed and Soy Sauce)”, “Goma-Age Shoyu (ごま揚しょうゆ: Sesame and Soy Sauce)”, “Cheese (チーズ)”, and “Amakuchi Curry (甘口カレー: Mild Curry)” flavors.
And for people who are interested in these Bakauke flavors, today I will give you my brief reviews.
Corn Potage Flavor (コーンポタージュ)
The corn potage flavor Bakauke Senbei is lightly seasoned and has a pretty mild corn potage flavor compared to the Umaibo Corn Potage Flavor and the Riska Corn Puff.
Aonori Shoyu Flavor (青のりしょうゆ: Green Seaweed and Soy Sauce)
The Aonori Shoyu flavor is the original flavor of the Bakauke series. This Senbei is also lightly seasoned and characterized by the subtle fragrances of Aonori seaweed and soy sauce. The green flecks on the surface are the Aonori.
Goma-Age Shoyu Flavor (ごま揚しょうゆ: Sesame and Soy Sauce)
Compared to the Corn Potage and Aonori Shoyu flavors above, this Sesame Soy Sauce Senbei has a strong taste and is especially characterized by the pleasant aroma from the sesame seeds in the dough.
Cheese Flavor (チーズ)
This cheese-flavor Bakauke cracker is well-seasoned with a mild and delicious cheese flavor to it.
Amakuchi Curry Flavor (甘口カレー: Mild Curry)
The Bakauke Curry Senbei is somewhat salty compared to the other flavors and is light in taste.
The Senbei of Befco Bakauke is mostly lightly seasoned and comes in mild, unique flavors compared to its counterparts, because of which, I think these Japanese crackers can be a nice treat for kids.
However, if you love strong-tasting snacks, the Bakauke Senbei might not be for you.