Senbei – Japanese Traditional Rice Crackers

Usually senbei is closely related to Soka City in Saitama, Tokyo, which is the birthplace of thick crackers. Actually the reason I raised this theme was not far from the previous sentence. At Expo Milano in 2015, Senbei Soka managed to get great attention when it was exhibited as one of the main foods in Japan.

Therefore, senbei is increasingly popularized and even marketed abroad. Maybe this is one of Japan’s strategies to “feed” those who can strengthen their economy, hehe. Okay, when Senbei Soka skyrocketed, of course it was accompanied by a more attractive business. The proof is “Soka Senbei Garden”, a workshop that carries senbei as the main theme which is certainly run by senbei businessmen in the city called “Yamako Senbei”. Since Soka City is the place of “origin” of the crackers, the proponents offered this place as the best place for visitors to make our own senbei style and enjoy it together.

With just 324 yen, visitors can try making their own senbei without having to order in advance. Later visitors will be guided to cook senbei on a grill (one appliance per person) in a special outdoor area. Reporting from the Japan Channel, Soka Senbei Garden recently wanted to develop another taste suitable for senbei and then released to the market. Usually senbei has a slightly salty taste because it is given salt (the taste of lettuce), the taste of miso, the taste of soy sauce, the taste of sesame, the taste of seaweed, and some are sweet.

Because they want to make innovations, the initiators of the Senbei Theme Park are asking visitors, especially students from abroad to give their opinions on their “new taste” version of Senbei that might be suitable on Japanese tongues. At that time there were students from Indonesia offering shrimp paste chili paste for a new flavor, but the guide said if the taste would not sell if sold in the land of the rising sun, why is that, hihi.

Besides Senbei Soka, Hokkaido Senbei also “fights” on foreign markets. A Senbei store located in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, seeks to penetrate the world market by marketing “Samurai Senbei” products, with a variety of flavors and shapes. Senbei made from Hokkaido rice has 3 types of senbei namely “Yumepirica”; hard baked senbei, thin “Fukkurinko”, and crunchy “Oborozuki”. Samurai Senbei rice biscuits have been introduced abroad which have been carried out by participating in culinary festivals in a number of countries such as Malaysia and Hong Kong, and the plan for the end of 2015 will be Samurai Senbei sales in Chicago and New York, United States.