Tomato Pretz is one of the most basic of Pretz flavours and one you can find anywhere in Japan and even abroad. Second to Salad Pretz, it is to the Pretz brand what Chocolate Pocky is to the Pocky brand, defining.
The seasoning in the Tomato Pretz manufactured 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.
Tomato Pretz 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 Tomato Pretz is about twice as long and wide as the ordinary Tomato Pretz. So, all up, about 8 times the size.
Now, while Tomato Pretz is widely available outside Japan, don’t let it’s 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 manufactured 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 Tomato Pretz by Glico Japan produced in Japan contained 2 packs each with ~20 pieces and was purchased in Osaka, Japan in 2015. The box of Giant Tomato Pretz by Glico Japan produced in Japan contained 18 packs with 2 pieces each and was purchased in Osaka, Japan in 2014. The box of Tomato Pretz by Glico China produced in China contained one pack with ~30 pieces and was gifted by relatives visiting Hong Kong in 2015.