Packaged drinking snacks #2 出来合の酒のつまみ パート2

japanese cake

This is the last post of 2011. It will be the year of the dragon next year. Although this may not be a worthy ending of 2011,  this is  the second installment of the series on prepackaged drinking snacks from Japan. These three items are vacuum packed but not individually packaged. So, once you open up the bag, you have to finish them relatively quickly.

The left is miso flavored squid from Tsunami ravaged Iwate prefecture, the center is squid cheese rolls, the right is “toba” which is “cut” and “soft” accoding to the label.

I am not sure how the squid was prepared but it is semi-dry and slightly chewy with good miso flavor. The item shown in the center picture is cut-up squid encased in mild cheese (Japanese “processed” cheese). This is rather mild and soft with a very agreeable taste. The right is “soft and cut” toba. Toba とば, written in kanji ideograms as 冬葉 which means “winter leaves”. This is a famous item on my home island of Hokkaido. The name, I suppose, comes from the way the strips of salted salmon drying in the cold winter wind on the bare branches of trees resembles brown leaves. Traditonal toba is usually very chewy, or sometimes hard like a strip of leather, and very salty. It is sort of the Hokkaido version of beef jerky. This version is considerably “tamed”. The skin has been removed and it is cut into smaller pieces. In addition, somehow it has been made much softer, although it is still quite salty.

(from left to right; smoked cheddar, toba, miso flavored squid, cheese-encased squid and cucmer slices)

I served these three items with slices of smoked sharp cheddar cheese and slices of cucumber. Somehow, these drinking snacks called for scotch and water. Although we only rarely drink hard liquor now-a-days, I made a very small and weak scotch and water. Since we had not drunk scotch for such a long time, I had to hunt around to find a bottle and eventually came up with “Chivas Regal”. Somehow toba goes well with scotch. Is it possible that I used to have toba with scotch in my drinking days in Susukino 薄野?

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