01/30/15 10:22am

Up until last night I’d little or no idea which teams were competing in Super Bowl XLIX. I had a vague sense some outift from New England was involved. As C+M readers are no doubt aware football is far less important to me than food, especially the amazing array of crunchy, sweet, salty snacks from all over the world to be found in Queens. I like conventional junk food—chips, pretzels, and cheezy poofs—as much as the next glutton, but why stop there? So as a public service to sports fans everywhere I devote this edition of The Seven to Super Bowl snacks that showcase some of the best—and strangest junk food—Queens has to offer.


Crunchy Japanese crabs are a great drinking snack!

1. Kanikko
Like many Japanese drinking snacks kanikko combines salty, fishy and sweet flavors along with crunchiness. The difference is that kanikko are actually teeny weeny crabs coated in sesame seeds. Find them at most Japanese grocery stores. Family Mart, 29-15, Broadway, Astoria, (718) 956-7925; Sakura Ya, 73-05 Austin St, Forest Hills, 718-268-7220


Festive tangles of Thai taro.

2. Thai taro crunch
Not only are these tangles of fried taro sweet and crunchy, they’re fun to look at. Noi Sila owner of Thai Thai Grocery imports them from her homeland along with all sorts of other ingredients and goodies. While you’re there pick up some awesome Thai beef jerky to gnaw on while watching the game. Thai Thai Grocery, 76-13 Woodside Ave., Elmhurst, 917-769-6168 (more…)

08/21/13 11:43pm

The crunchiest durian sundae ever.

“This would be really good over vanilla ice cream,” my friend Anne Marie Cruz said as she munched on a handful of kering tempe, a spicy Indonesian brittle made from tempe, potatoes, and peanuts. Crunchy, garlicky, and singing with sweet spicy flavor, it’s the only way I can abide the fermented soybean noxiousness that is tempe. Abide is an understatement. I can easily polish off a $7 box of the stuff in a sitting.

We scored the highly addictive snack at OK Indo, one of the stops on a food tour of Southeast Asian Elmhurst and Himalayan Heights that I took Anne Marie, her boyfriend Brant, and their friends on for Brant’s birthday. By the time we got to the Thai-run Tea Cup Café, I’d forgotten all about the kering tempe. That is until Anne Marie ordered some durian ice cream. (more…)