Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Safeway Remodel Is Finished!

It's in Mill Valley, across the freeway from the town we moved out of last spring, and it was never even a store we shopped in regularly.
But we were driving past on the way home from an appointment, and decided to check it out.
Pretty nice, I'd say. In the produce department, they had not only taro roots, but malanga roots, which are close cousins. The cheese department was half-hearted, sad to report, and I didn't really snoop around deeply enough to say much more. Well, they carry Semifreddi's bread (good), lots of organic this and that, huge wine section. The whole place is huge.
But this isn't a Safeway review.
It's simply a report on the best darn arare (Japanese rice-cracker snack) I've ever tasted, and I bought it in the newly remodeled Safeway.
I don't know how to tell you the brand name. (I've left a request for Obachan to drop by and suggest a translation). I do know they are called Iso Maki, and I suspect the "maki" part refers to the nori wrapper. They are very crisp and substantial. The nori tasted fresh and bright, not at all soggy. The shoyu glaze on the nuggets was an artful blend of flavors, including sugar, seaweed powder and bonito powder. Ooh, and they stuck to my fingertips in just the right way.
You do know the right way, don't you? You just press a fingertip onto the cracker and it should stick. Then you transfer the morsel to your mouth.
And your fingers get successively stickier with each bite.
On the back of the package (sorry, that package was empty by the time I photographed it), it says simply "Distributed by JFC International Inc., S. San Francisco, CA." I don't even know if the crackers were manufactured here or abroad.
Oh well. Look for the black cellophane bag.


mrs d said...

I am now going to cry horribly. There are no Japanese rice cracker snacks on this entire island. ::waaaaaaaaah::

Okay, I'm done now. ::sniffle::

Monkey Gland said...

One of my pet hates rice crackers. Someone opens a pack within 5 metres of me I start to gag...must be some weird surpressed memory.

obachan said...

AHHHH!! So SORRY that it took this long for me to come here to answer your question!
OK. The translation. “Iso” literally means “rocky shore” and “maki” means “to wrap”or "something that is wrapped (with whatever thing)." So the name means that these are crackers wrapped with something that has the smell of ocean, i.e. nori (seaweed). Actually, the word “iso” is often used in the name of the food that contains nori. To me it’s amazing that you can buy this at Safeway!
And as a Japanese, I officially endorse the way you transfer the crackers to your mouth. ;)

cookiecrumb said...

Obachan: Thank you for your generous and brilliant linguistic skills! That's such an evocative translation: "rocky shore wrapper." So oceany.
I'm especially happy that you like the way I eat the crackers!

Deatomizer999 said...

I first tried the delicious Iso Maki a few years back having purchased them by mistake from my local BevMo. They are fantastic and are about the only snack that can satisfy my sushi cravings!(when I can't afford sushi lol) I hadn't seen them in several years due to the fact that BevMo stopped stocking them but I recently found them in the Asian Foods isle at my local Raleys. I'm very happy. I hope others enjoy them as much as I do!

cookiecrumb said...

Deatomizer: You know how weird it is to get a comment on a years-old post?! And a nice comment at that. Thanks.

steph011 said...

So, I am going to comment as well. I Googled "iso maki" and your blog was the first one that came up! And it did the job explaining to me more about what this delicious snack is. I was surprised to see a post from 2005, but whatever! Who knows how Google decides to sort their search results....