Umaibo (Puffcorn): What is the Yasai Salad Flavor?
Japanese “Dagashi (駄菓子)” snacks can’t be told without “Umaibo (うまい棒)”. For the unfamiliar, Dagashi is the collective term for cheap, unique, and relatively small Japanese snacks whose price ranges from 10 yen (about 0.1 USD) to about 100 yen, and Umaibo is one of the most famous Dagashi treats that is sometimes called “The King of Dagashi”.
Umaibo, literally meaning “Delicious Stick” in Japanese, is actually a corn puff stick that comes in a variety of unique flavors, including Natto, Takoyaki, Teriyaki Burger, and Mentai, and since its original flavor Tonkatsu Sauce was introduced in 1979, the price of 10 yen has never changed until today.
According to the official website of Umaibo, currently, there are 19 regular flavors in the series, and many of them probably can’t be seen in other countries. Among them, I suppose you especially couldn’t imagine what the Mentai and Yasai Salad flavors taste like, but I talked about the Mentai before, so today let me introduce the Yasai Salad flavor.
Umaibo Yasai Salad Flavor
Umaibo Yasai Salad was released in 1980 when its name was simply Umaibo Yasai. “Yasai (やさい, 野菜)” actually means vegetable in Japanese, so the literal meaning of “Yasai Salad (やさいサラダ)” is “Vegetable Salad”.
But this Umaibo delicious stick has a taste far from that of vegetable salad so it might be hard to imagine the taste without eating the corn puff. Nonetheless, if I express the taste in words, it is quite savory, packed with umami, and has a taste similar to consomme soup rather than a vegetable salad. It is literally delicious, in fact, Umaibo Yasai salad is one of my favorite Umaibo flavors.
Lastly, let’s see the ingredients. According to the list, the puffed corn snack Umaibo Yasai Salad is made from Non-Gmo potato, vegetable oil, dextrose, sugar, garlic seasoning, spices, breadcrumb, powdered cabbage extract, dried potato, salt, protein hydrolysate, seasoning (including amino acids), acidifier, paprika pigment, caramel pigment, and flavoring (The snack partially contains wheat, dairy product, soybeans, chicken, pork, and gelatin.)
By the way, based on the pictured nutrition facts label, the Japanese snack has 43 kcal per one bag (6 grams) and contains 0.1 g salt equivalent.