We see a lot of weird stuff on the internet, but corn snacks made to taste – and fizz, no less – like the carbonated soft drink Mountain Dew are undoubtedly the oddest thing to happen since millions of adults across the globe simultaneously lied to their children about a bearded man sneaking into their home and leaving gifts for having refrained from murdering anyone or punching an otter since the previous December.
Nevertheless, as the internet chatter suggests, Mountain Dew corn snacks really do exist here in Japan, and so despite imagining that they’d taste about as good as minty orange juice, we tracked some down and, along with a can of actual Mountain Dew (or “Mtn Dew” as it’s now being branded in the US, because who has time fr vwls?) for comparison, conducted a little taste test of our own.
Full impressions after the jump.
Coming from the UK, where Mountain Dew was never especially popular or prevalent, I felt the need to sip on the real thing while sampling the chips to see how close their two flavours were. It was only a couple of seconds after a sweet, citrusy smell found its way into my manly nose holes (I have a fairly sizeable hooter, so the word “nostrils” doesn’t quite do them justice), however, that I realised I hadn’t yet opened the can–the smell was coming from the open tub of chips.
Suitably impressed by their authentic aroma, in an effort to feign civility I decanted a few of the chips onto a plate. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.
About the size and shape of Cheetos (which makes sense because they’re made by the same company), the chips’ powdery, almost sugar-like coating glistens slightly in the sunlight. It’s hardly the kind of thing you’d expect from a savoury snack, but then as we’ve seen before, Japan is never afraid to mix its sweet and salty treats.
Forgetting all about the drink, I dived straight into the corn chips. Before I could get to crunching, however, my tongue started sending me messages that I simply wasn’t expecting. Were I any sort of decent reporter, or even a sensible adult for that matter, I’d have read the description on the packaging first and known this prior to eating, but these chips are actually made to create a tingling sensation in the mouth. Not unlike a sort of mild popping candy, the chips’ coating starts to fizz gently on the tongue while citrusy flavour spreads across it.
Touche, Frito Lay, you have succeeded in creating a genuine snack / soda lovechild. And it is quite bizarre.
After munching my way through five or six of the nobbly little corn sticks, I took a quick sip of the chilled Mountain Dew I had readied for the taste comparison. The chips are, thankfully, not quite as sweet as the drink itself, but in terms of flavour they’re pretty close. There’s a definite hint of lime after the initial fizzing on the tongue, and the sweetness that follows is surprisingly similar to that of the drink.
In the name of carrying out a fair test – and because I’d missed lunch while trying to procure the chips to try for myself – I finished off the whole 35g tub in one sitting, but by the time I was halfway in I was growing steadily sick of them, and in an act that no doubt put me in the running for a future Darwin Award, foolishly attempted to cleanse my palate by taking a big swig from my accompanying can of Mountain Dew – twice.
As a novelty snack, or perhaps something to share with a few friends rather than devour alone, Mountain Dew corn chips aren’t all that bad. They certainly won’t win any awards for redefining flavour any time soon, but they do exactly what they say on the packet by tasting impressively similar to the drink of the same name. Ultimately, whether the idea of eating chips that taste like you’re munching on cheeseless Cheetos while swilling lemonade around your mouth sounds appealing probably depends on your age, level of inebriation, and the company you keep, but if you can get your hands on this weird and wonderful snack from (where else but) Japan, then definitely give them a go. You probably won’t regret it…
Next week: Fanta flavoured gravy and chocolate peas.