Larb Pretz by Glico Japan

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Larb Pretz by Glico Japan takes on the pop­u­lar meat salad pop­u­lar in Laos and areas of Thailand heav­ily pop­u­lated by Laos. I’m not famil­i­ar with larb, but every handy Wikipedia describes it as a meat salad ‘often made with chick­en, beef, duck, fish, pork or mush­rooms, fla­voured with fish sauce, lime juice, padeak, roas­ted ground rice and fresh herbs’, where the ‘meat can be either raw or cooked …is minced with chili, mint and, option­ally, assor­ted veget­ables’ and served at room tem­per­at­ure. That descrip­tion reminds me of my chick­en, squid and holy basil stir­fry at Jarern Chai Boon Cafe, only that was served hot.

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On that note, the Larb Pretz smells like canned lime and black pep­per tuna and tastes like a crunchy ver­sion of it. That is to say, there is a zesty sour­ness, a sharp­ness and a savoury fish­i­ness. These fla­vours come through imme­di­ately before the spi­ci­ness kicks in.

The spi­ci­ness builds towards the end of the bite, with the heat linger­ing long in the after­taste. Of course, the heat builds fur­ther as you con­tin­ue eat­ing. It’s a strong heat; there’s noth­ing shy about it, but it’s also pleas­ant and enjoy­able and crit­ic­ally, does not set my mouth on fire and oblit­er­ate my sense of taste as hap­pens at some Thai restaurants.

This box of Larb Pretz by Glico Japan con­tained 2 packs each with ~20 pieces. It was pro­duced in Japan and pur­chased in Osaka, Japan in 2015.