Crunchy puffs of rice, salt, and sugar
4 May 8, 2009
These lovely little crackers hail from Japan. The ones that I purchased are basically a combination of white rice, sugar, and salt. I found them at Trader Joe's but I have also seen them in the Asian section of a regular grocery store.
So, are they good for you? No, they aren't. Are they bad for you? Well, I wouldn't say bad, but I think there are better choices. These are crackers, no different from crackers made from wheat. Just because they are made from rice does not mean they are more healthy. In fact, I would choose a whole wheat cracker such as Triscuit over a rice cracker for more nutrition.
Why aren't they super healthy? For this answer, you need a little lesson in how they make white rice. All rice starts out brown, and the brown section is the nutritious part of the seed. A rice kernel is actually the seed from the rice plant. The rice factory takes off the brown part of the rice (the bran layer - the germ of the seed) and chucks it. Then, they grind up the rice and make rice flour, which they turn into rice crackers.
Essentially, all the nutritious part of the rice is tossed away, so you get this light cracker. Then you need to add salt, sugar, chili paste, etc. to make it taste like something.
Is there good news? Rice crackers are low calorie for the quantity. So, if you are trying to lose weight and are addicted to Doritos, these are a good choice.
They are also a delightful change of pace from potato chips and go well with beer. Picture them as Asian pretzels.
My friend, Orchid, writes a fantastic blog about Japanese snacks. Check it out here: