Review: Cheeza 53% Camembert With Almonds

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Review: Cheeza 53% Camembert with Almonds
Purchased: July 2013
Review: July 2013
Best Before: April 2014

Cheeza Website

“Why the ____ do they need to put almonds in everything now?” said my friend Tod on one of my recent  trips to Japan.

The answer, so far as this site is concerned, is that it lets us review something for a second time even though there are only minute differences… and one of the only things that I’d want to review again is Cheeza Camembert!

I’ve been told that the ‘real’ reason is that almonds are still both luxurious and uncommon in Japan, and so when you’ve got a luxury item like a cheese cracker made of 53% real cheese, throwing a few almonds in the bag raises their status even further.

Can almonds really improve something as perfect as Cheeza Camembert? Perhaps unsurprisingly, I was up for the task of finding out.

Packaging: Standard Cheeza packaging in that it is big and bold and clear. As a non-Japanese-reading gaijin, browsing the racks at the convenience store, it’s always appreciated to have a big clear picture of not only what the product inside the packaging looks like, but also what the intention of the flavour is. In this case, a great big hunk of camembert, melting and getting crispy on the hot surface.  Plus an almond, floating through the air with the crackers.

One’s mouth literally begins to water…

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Scent and Taste: Smells delicious. Not as strongly scented as some of the Cheeza, but still really appetizing both in the bag and poured into the bowl. Interestingly, my bag of Cheeza had exactly 4 almonds in it, enough to let you know they’re there, but sort of strange by my snacking standards… you see almonds on the bag and you expect more than 4. J

Still, I didn’t mind the lack of almonds because while they’ve picked up a little bit of salt and flavour from the crackers, they’re otherwise normal almonds, and I feel like one purchases Cheeza in order to enjoy Cheeza.  Anyway, thanks for the almonds, they are okay pallete cleansers if you don’t have a beer.

Which brings us to the meat of the review… er, the cheese of the review? Anyhow, Cheeza crackers.  They’re still literally the best salty Japanese snack I have ever tried. The camembert Cheeza are flavourful, rich, buttery, and most of all cheesy. I cannot get over it. The flavour builds with each cracker, and makes an excellent pairing with beer. Cheeza is the best snack you’ve maybe never had.

Verdict: I fill my suitcase with Cheeza every time I come back from Japan, and the worst Cheeza flavour I’ve tasted is still as good as my favourite North American cheese cracker (Cheese Nips, by Nabisco, if you’re curious. Like Cheese-its but buttery-er).

What I’m say is, Camember Cheeza are the gold standard by which all other snacks I try are measured, so unsurprisingly, this is a 10/10. Do not pass these up if you’re visiting Japan… or if you live there!

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