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Glico Pretz Tomato and Glico Giant Pretz Tomato

Glico Pretz Tomato is one of the most basic of Pretz fla­vours and one you can find any­where in Japan and even abroad. Second to Salad, it is to the Pretz brand what Chocolate is to the Pocky brand, defin­ing.

The season­ing in the Glico Pretz Tomato pro­duced in Japan doesn’t imme­di­ately bring to mind tomato. That’s not to say it doesn’t taste like tomato — it’s a lot like the intense umami fla­vours of ripe toma­toes — just that what first comes to mind is it’s a savoury, slightly tangy, the tini­est bit spicy (in the fla­vour, not the heat sense) and abso­lutely more­ish — you have one and you can­not stop.

Glico Pretz Tomato also comes in Giant size, which is more crumbly and less crispy than the stand­ard ver­sion. Otherwise, the season­ing is essen­tially the same — obvi­ously Tomato Pretz — although the tangy spice fla­vour is less pro­nounced in the Giant ver­sion. That and its crisp­ness make the stand­ard ver­sion more addict­ive.

A com­par­is­on shows the Giant Pretz is about twice as long and wide as the ordin­ary Tomato Pretz. So, all up, about 8 times the size.

Now, while Glico Pretz Tomato is widely avail­able out­side Japan, don’t let its avail­ab­il­ity lead you to dis­ap­point­ment: Tomato Pretz from China tastes noth­ing like its Japanese ori­gin­al. It fea­tures season­ing that tastes like cheap tomato sauce loaded with sug­ar. It’s sweet season­ing, pain­fully basic, and lacks any hint of savoury (let alone pleas­ant spi­ci­ness) that makes the Japanese ver­sion so more­ish.

The Tomato Pretz pro­duced in Japan (above, bot­tom) are a bit longer as well as a tad more baked, which gives them the bene­fit of a deli­cious toasty fla­vour that the sweet and pale Chinese ver­sion (above, top) lacks. 

Perhaps the Chinese mar­ket has a dif­fer­ent pal­ate, but that doesn’t answer the ques­tion: Why would you change some­thing that tastes so good in ori­gin­al form? I’ve not had great exper­i­ences with Chinese or Thai man­u­fac­tured Pretz and Pocky so I should prob­ably stick with those made in Japan.

The box of Glico Pretz Tomato pro­duced in Japan con­tained 2 packs each with ~20 pieces and was pur­chased in Osaka, Japan in 2015. The box of Giant Giant Pretz Tomato pro­duced in Japan con­tained 18 packs with 2 pieces each and was pur­chased in Osaka, Japan in 2014. The box of Glico Pretz Tomato pro­duced in China con­tained one pack with ~30 pieces and was gif­ted by rel­at­ives vis­it­ing Hong Kong in 2015