Japan and Mexico are two countries that people rarely seem to connect, yet the humble snack food Karamucho seems to bridge the gap successfully, and with gusto!
Koikeya is a landmark snack company in Japan; kind of the Frito Lay of Nippon. Yet, tired of regurgitating the same conventional snack foods, the company recently opted to make the more inclusive, yet admittedly exotic choice. Karamucho is the result of that choice and blends East Asian finger food aesthetics with the punchy spice of Mexican gourmet food. The name itself is a portmanteau of the Japanese "kalai" (spicy) and the Spanish word "mucho" (very), ultimately creating a pretty self-explanatory name. Koikeya's most recent jab at popularizing the brand involves staging an amusing commercial involving a Japanese mariachi band entertaining a small, enthusiastic crowd in Mexico City. If you pay attention, you'll notice they're not actually singing in Spanish, but in Japanese.