Tamago Senbei vs. Tamasen: What’s the Difference?
A few days ago, I stopped by a supermarket as usual on my way home from work and looked for something interesting for the blog article.
As a result, I found this Tamago Senbei (たまごせんべい: Japanese egg cracker) and purchased it.
I have rarely eaten the snack and knew little about it. So today, I researched the classic egg cracker.
Tamago Senbei and Tamasen
When I googled it, I found this article titled Tamasen (玉せん) on Japanese Wikipedia. But there was no description concerning Tamago Senbei there.
Based on other sources I read, Tamago Senbei seems to be sometimes abbreviated to Tama-Sen.
But the Tamasen I bought this time was completely different from what was on Wikipedia, and I found out that it comes in two types.
Tamago Senbei Egg Crackers
The Tamasen or Tamago Senbei I have now is an egg cracker that has been a long-time favorite in Japan, and this has the letters Tamago Sen (たまご せん) branded on the top face.
According to the ingredient list on the back of the package, this Tamago Senbei consists of wheat flour, sugar, egg, shortening, and baking soda.
Thus, this one is very close to Kawara Senbei (瓦せんべい), though the former is soft and crispy, while the latter generally has a tough crunchy texture.
Nagoya’s Specialty Tamasen
On the other hand, this article on Japanese Wikipedia describes a specialty of Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, called Tamasen (玉せん).
It is a snack offered by Dagashiya (candy shops) in the city and street food stalls at festivals and is popular with kids.
Nagoya’s Tamasen consists of a folded Tako Senbei (たこせんべい: octopus cracker) or Ebi Senbei (えびせんべい: shrimp cracker).
It has fried or scrambled eggs inside dressed with Okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise.