Sweet in your mouth at first. After a few crunch, a scent of soy sauce joins. The exquisite harmony fills your mouth.
Senbei are traditional Japanese crackers made from toasted rice. There’s a wide variety of this popular snack in Japan. Most of them are savory. The Zarame Senbei is one of the few exceptions.
Senbei have a long history, and there are several opinions about their origin. Today, the most popular type is Shio Senbei (a salty type). They say poor farmers started to make them with leftover rice in the Edo era. They fry it, mix with salt, shape, dry in the sun, and bake over charcoal.
Soka city in Saitama prefecture is very famous, when talking about Senbei. Because they are believed to be the first ones to start making Senbei for sale. And their Shio Senbei using soy sauce was a mega hit. Soka Senbei is still one of the biggest Senbei brands today.
Most of Senbei are casual snacks. You can buy them everywhere in Japan at a reasonable price. When you buy them at a supermarket, or a convenience store, probably many pieces are in a simple plastic bag.
There are some fancy Senbei, too. They can be colorful, individually wrapped, lined-up neatly in a gift box.
Any Senbei are nice for the tea time with your colleagues. You can treat your guests at home with them. You can bring them as a gift to visit your family.
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