Ware Senbei – A type of Japanese rice cracker, which is broken
Senbei (せんべい), together with Okaki (おかき) and Arare (あられ), is one of the 3 major Japanese rice crackers.As compared to Okaki and Arare, generally Senbei is big and round in shape.
Speaking of the type, there are several types of Senbei rice crackers, including regular Senbei that is made by baking, Nure Senbei (濡れせんべい) that is known as wet Japanese rice crackers and Age Senbei (揚げせんべい), or literally deep-fried Senbei.
It can be said that they are 3 representative types of Senbei.In addition to them, there is one more type of Senbei that is commonly eaten in Japan.That is Ware Senbei (割れせんべい).
Ware Senbei (割れせんべい) – Cracked and broken Senbei rice crackers
Ware Senbei (割れせんべい), or Waresen (割れせん), is a cracked and broken Senbei.This type of Senbei has its origin in defective Senbei rice crackers, such as broken pieces and curved shapes of Senbei.
As Senbei is traditionally made with hands by craftsmen, there is occurrence of defective products in the production process.Therefore Ware Senbei is originally what commercialized them, but these days the Waresen rice crackers that are intendedly broken are being sold as well at supermarkets in Japan.
The item I picked up today is just the latter type of Ware Senbei, which is broken for some purpose.
According to the product package, the reason why the Senbei is broken into pieces is because the seasoning, such as soy sauce, is well infiltrated into the cracks.In fact, these broken pieces are seasoned by dunking them in soy sauce twice.
This is why these Ware Senbei have a thick color and flavor as compared to regular Senbei (Amazon.com), but they have the crunchy feeling of regular Senbei perfectly.