Salmon Stick

 Brand: Mystery

Cost: 399 yen

Found At: Mini Stop

I like fish. More specifically, I like salmon. Today, especially, has been an unusually salmon-y day. I’m not sure if the cause is nutritional, and I need more protein in my diet, or sentimental, and I am missing the fishy taste of home. Either way, I went directly from a breakfast of salmon sashimi to the “Japanese beer snacks” section of my local convenience store for some salmon jerky.

Fair warning: if you don’t like fish, this is not the snack for you. This warning might seem fairly intuitive, but sometimes the term “jerky” can be misleading. These chewy sticks of dried salmon flesh are flavored only with sugar, salt, and saltpeter, and the fishiness comes through distinctly. One might even say powerfully. Opening the bag is like taking a big, deep breath on the pier. The taste is similarly marine-forward. I can understand how someone might not be interested in chowing down on a chewy, fishy stick of meat. In fact, most days I would rather have something that does not taste like a seafood market on a hot day. But then there are those days when I need 16 g of protein and a little taste of home. And on those days, a stick of “Hokkaido autumn-caught salmon jerky” is just what the doctor ordered.

Or just what ordered the doctor. Three sticks in and I’m still not 100% confident in the freshness of that salmon.

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