New Products For the New Year

Teriyaki Mochi Rice Nuggets
Teriyaki Mochi Rice Nuggets

Woodridge Snacks

After the avalanche of sweets this holiday season, it’s time for savory and salty instead, don’t you think?

Admittedly, I am always a sucker for Japanese rice crackers, so Woodridge Snacks’ Sticky Rice Chips are right up my alley. I had a chance to try some Woodridge Snacks samples, including the Sticky Rice Chips in Sriracha flavor ($2.99 for a 2.8-ounce bag).

Made with rice harvested from Thailand, these chips are light, airy, crisp and ever so chewy. The Sriracha flavor definitely has a hit of chili spice that starts out mellow and builds at the end. There’s 140 calories per 23 chips with 220mg sodium.

The Mochi Rice Nuggets ($2.99 for a 3.17-ounce bag) are also crisp, slightly chewy and a bit denser. The Teriyaki flavor is redolent of the sweet-salty-savory tastes of soy sauce, sake, and sugar. The Tom Yum is rather uncanny, tasting very much like the classic Thai soup with its strong notes of makrut lime leaves and savory brininess. A quarter-cup serving of either flavor has 100 calories and 300mg sodium.

Teriyaki Mochi Rice Nuggets.
Woodridge Snacks’ Sriracha Sticky Rice Chips.

The Tempura Seaweed Chips (a three-pack of 1.41-ounce bags for $14.99) are made from seaweed that’s dipped in a light tempura-like batter before being fried. They are light and crisp, and rather fishy tasting even through the sweet-smoky Hickory Barbecue seasoning, so they might turn off some palates. They reminded me very much of the Chinese shredded dried squid snacks I ate as a kid, if that gives you any indication. One bag ias 100 calories and 210mg sodium.

Tempura-fried seaweed crisps.
Tempura-fried seaweed crisps.

Look for the snacks at Target, Mollie Stone’s, Rite Aid, Lunardi’s, and Rainbow Grocery.

Tea Chest Hawaii Tea Blends

Missing jetting off to Hawaii? Get a taste of the islands with Tea Chest Hawaii.

I had a chance to try samples of two different organic blends packaged conveniently in individual steeping bags. The Olena is sports a touch of green tea together with turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, black pepper, moringa, and mamaki (a Hawaiian medicinal plant that’s related to nettles).

Olena tea blend from Tea Chest Hawaii.
Olena tea blend from Tea Chest Hawaii.

Billed as a remedy for inflammation, this tea definitely tastes of dusty, earthy turmeric, but not overpoweringly so. The ginger and green tea really balance it.

The Mana is a lively blend of cinnamon, hibiscus, black tea, peppermint, spearmint, moringa, and mamaki. This tea, which purports to boost immunity, has a zingy, tangy floral-fruity taste. Enjoy it hot or iced.

Each blend comes in a pouch of 20 tea bags for $6.99.

Convenient tea bags for brewing the perfect cup or pot.
Convenient tea bags for brewing the perfect cup or pot.

For even more fun, the company has a whole line of “Hawaiian Mixes,” tea blends that spotlight Hawaiian ingredients, such as Passion Fruit Guava Hawaiian Black Tea, Lilikoi Coconut Hawaiian Black Tea, and Haupia Matcha Hawaiian Green Tea.

Best yet, there is free shipping on all domestic orders.

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