As someone who has always had an interest in Asian culture, naturally I have taken my fair share of trips to Asian grocery stores. They offer an abundance of snacks, drinks, meats and foods for the hipster foodie who is looking to try something new.
1. Shrimp Crackers
These unique chips have the texture of cheese puffs, the slight sweetness of a sugar cookie and the flaky, spicy aftertaste of spicy Cheetos. I’m not exactly sure what they’re made of, but they’re a welcomed change of pace when I get tired of my usual chip choice.
It’s probably the most mainstream of snacks on this list, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard of it. But if you haven’t eaten Pocky, you haven’t really lived. With thin, “biscuit sticks” dipped in creamy chocolate, it’s a simple snack that goes a long way for a sweet tooth.
3. Japanese Green Tea
This one seems obvious, but it should be listed. I love coffee, but there are very few beverages more soothing than a steaming cup of green tea.
4. Instant Miso Soup
And it doesn’t just have to be miso soup—there are plenty of other flavors. And as a college student, I can appreciate any food that has “instant” in the title.
5. Yan Yan
Make room for some dessert again! Yan Yan is Pocky’s lesser-known cousin. The biggest difference is that Yan Yan comes in a tube, with the biscuit sticks on one side and the creamy dip (which you could pretty much classify as straight-up icing) on the other. In this case, you do the dipping yourself. My favorite flavor is strawberry, but there’s an assortment of other flavors to be tried.
I can’t say enough about this delicious, carbonated soft drink. With dozens of flavors, Ramune comes in a glass bottle with a pretty cool design. A small, glass marble seals the entrance of the bottle, and you’re given a cylindrical piece of plastic called a “codd head.” Using this device, you open the bottle by pushing the marble into the neck of the bottle, where it rattles around while drinking. Sounds complicated, but the drink itself is worth the trouble.
Okay, so we’ve raved and written about mochi ice cream before. And in my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated desserts out there. Mochi is traditionally frozen, but you can also find it in candy form in the snack aisle. I bought “mochi choco,” which provided me with a chocolate covered rice cake about the size of a quarter. It was a surprisingly tasty yet simple piece of candy that I plan to keep around.
8. Banana chips
So, I love pretty much any banana chips, but these are a common and tasty find at an Asian grocery store. They come in strips, chips, rolls and just about any other form. And hey, I had to put something healthy on this list, right?