Cracking Open the Sunflower Seed Snack Food Conspiracy

sunflower1People who love snacking on sunflower seeds generally don’t have a lot of options. In North America, it’s either David, Spitz or Big. Each of them have their devoted following, but I find that over time they’re not all that good. The reason is that the added (or too salty) flavours don’t help satisfy a basic craving. It’s easy to buy a local grocery store’s bulk version and use for salads, but I miss the the joy of cracking the shell open.  

In China, there are several brands (Chacha being the most well known) who also sweeten the nut up. I’ve tried a few brought over by Fairway Market, and they are average. It’s tough to find a naturally smoked and simply baked seed until the deceptive branding of ‘Big Sunflower Seeds’ by Onetang, a Sungiven Foods label, caught my eye. 

sunflower2

Unlike other packaging, this canister keeps the seeds in a vacuum sealed bag and upon opening, I was surprised at the all natural scent. I question the use of big in any new product, because they rarely live up to expectations. A single seed surprised me, and the flavour is a lot more natural than others. 

If it wasn’t for the hefty price, $6 CAD per 213g can, I’d be stocking up! Nearly five months after finding this product, I’m definitely addicted! There’s no turning back. They’re certainly bigger when compared to the North American brands, and as I’m reluctant to buy a full bag to take a proper picture for comparison, I settled for a different style by showing a few against a Canadian quarter.

sunflower3

The packaging says the seeds are harvested from the fields of Inner Mongolia. Whether that’s true is debatable. Chacha uses the exact same words in their marketing.

But as for saying size matters for this seed, they’re one of the best. I can go through a small rice bowl of these and feel satisfied.

Pocky or Pepero? The Tough Decisions

Candy coated breadsticks are a staple of the Asian snack industry and the Pocky brand is the most well known. From green tea chocolate flavour to almond coated, the only limit is in which tastes are exported out of country for consumers to taste. Not every flavour has been made available, and what I found in Japan ages ago took a year or two before I can find it in North America.

When Fairway Market started carrying Pepero (by Lotte), I felt torn. There were flavours I wanted to try from this South Korean brand but I was loyal to Pocky. The choice simply boils down to just that and eventually I’d had to try. As for which tastes better, the difference is hardly noticeable. It’s more of a consumer choice.

Continue reading

Chestnuts or Peanuts Roasting on an Open Fire?

At the close of winter, I should have chestnuts roasting on an open fire to keep Jack Frost staying outside and not knocking at my door. The current COVID-10 crisis has many restaurants closing early or only offering take out. With many governments encouraging their citizens to stay at home until the situation is in control, yes this foodie review site will have to look into other creative options to continue generating content.

Fortunately, a few restaurants have been visited before the outbreak and they will be published alongside product reviews of snacking options I find at grocery stores; there’s usually something new to discover (especially at Fairway Market) to sample! That’s provided this operation can import them in.

Whether fresh-roasted garlic peanuts can help build my immunity or not, the added flavour will certainly give me a mild garlic breath! When I first discovered Watson Enterprises‘ LJK-Peanuts (Garlic Flavour), it was out of curiousity. When I was in Vancouver, T&T Markets had them in ample supply and buying two bags to return to Victoria with were not enough!

Continue reading