Small kid time, Yick Lung's Nib-bits used to be my favorite snack. Ask people from my Gen X era and they'd all probably tell you they could pound one whole bag, no problem. I not sure when exactly, but somewhere along da line da company decided to revamp da shape and mess with da firmer texture that used to be more like one crunchy pork rind.
One time, I tried sharing these modern Nib-bits with my potato chip pal Grace Lee at Hawaii News Now. She never grow up here, so I wuz trying for explain how it USED TO taste. Lol. I think she ate half of one stick before giving it da thumbs down. And I no can blame her.
Nowdays I only buy Nib-bits pretty much for da nostalgia. In my mind, I had given up my search for da perfect chip. Nothing in da present wuz ever gonna top my Nib-bits from da past. Or so I believed.
I only picked up these Honey Garlic BBQ Okinawan Sweet Potato Crisps cuz I'm one sucker for try anyting new das Okinawan, cuz I'm Okinawan. I thought this wuz gonna be one of those tings where I just try 'em once, then pau. But to my surprise it turned out for be super good!
Every single ting you need fo' know
These Okinawan Sweet Potato Crisps by Hawaiian Island Crisps come in four flavors: Original, Furikake, Hot Furikake, and Honey Garlic BBQ. It's not like they just slice up one Okinawan sweet potato and fry 'em up. These crisps kinda get one shrimp chip texture. Da plain one is like one slightly sweet shrimp chip and not too salty. Da furikake one is little bit salty and little bit sweet. Da hot furikake one is like da furikake one but with a little bit of heat. Those are all OK, but da piece de resistance is da Honey Garlic BBQ.
Da seasoning on this is crazy. It already has some natural sweet from da sweet potato, but also get added sweetness from sugar, brown sugar and honey. Then to balance out da sweet, da ting get salt. Plus get some kick from chili pepper and vinegar. Then get some extra umami with da addition of garlic and soy sauce. All these flavors is like one taste explosion in your mouth. So onreal.
Now, no get me wrong. I love my Maui Kitch'n Cook'd Chips from Maui and Taro Ko Chips from Kauai, but those is special occasion chips, cuz they so hard to get. These chips is more easier to obtain, at least for Oahu people). Did I find someting even bettah than old skool Nib-bits? I had to let some oddah people try sample 'em for make sure I wuzn't imagining.
I offered 'em to da first 10 people I knew that I happened for run into that day. Everyone loved it and said they'd definitely buy it. Da worst comment I got wuz from my super picky friend Colee who doesn't really like anyting that she didn't make herself. She initially said, "This tastes weirrrd." then she paused and exclaimed, "BUT GOOD!!" Even da next day people wuz still talking about da chip and asking wea I got 'em from. So I told 'em they can find 'em at Carousel Candyland at Kahala Mall, Lin's Hawaiian Snacks in Kakaako and Baldwin's Sweet Shop in Waimalu.
I nevah thought I WOULDN'T mind paying this much for one bag of chips. This ting costs $8.99 for one 4-ounce bag, but to me it's so worth it. And if you still no believe, lemme share with you this tragic tale.
Our normally well-behaved cats decided for attack my extra bag of Honey Garlic BBQ Crisps that I wuz saving on top da table. Our cats never had interest in our human snacks before, so it wuz really odd. I wuzn't sure when exactly they tore through da bag so I reluctantly put da mauled-up bag in da kitchen trash bin.
My friend happened to see da chips in da trash, saw da price tag and asked why I wuz throwing 'em away. I told her I dunno when da cats destroyed it. Da chips wuz probably stale already. She took one chip from da trash to try it. And she said, "Yeah, it's soggy." Then she proceeded to eat more chips ... from da rubbish can! I asked, "Wotchoo doing?! I thought you said wuz stale?" She said, "Yeah, but it tastes really good!" Lol.