Name: Crispy Snack Anchovy Fish
Found at: 99 Ranch, Irvine
Anchovy, Palm Oil, Salt, Sugar, Sesame, Sodium Metabisulfite.
Why I Bought It:
When writing a weekly column called “Wacky Snacks”, how can one refuse a tub of, more or less, fried bait that's ambigiously called “Crispy Snack”. But there's no ambiguity when you turn the plastic tub around. What you see is what you get: fried-to-puffy anchovies promising funky fishiness and breath-fouling deliciousness — a snack that's more common in Thailand than Cheetos.
Opening the container, I braced myself for the funky fishy fumes to emanate. And it did, though quite tamely, since the process of frying takes care of most of the rotting rankness associated with this particular aquatic product.
I broke off a piece from a caramel-colored ball onto which a single fish was stuck and shoved it in my mouth. The crunch was similar to a very dense Cheetoh, if it were made from fish. Headless and dense like a Japanese rice cracker, these had a rough, styrofoamy texture and unfortunately, not much else. It's disappointing less flavorful than other brands of anchovy snacks (yes, I've had others…voluntarily, I might add). Despite it, my breath still ended up reeking like the San Pedro Fish Market in July.