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.
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.