May You Find Peas

Since I moved to Toronto two years ago, I've been searching for one of my favourite snack foods: roasted wasabi peas. Fortunately, the place where I buy my oriental food has recently started stocking them. Well, I think it was recent. The last three times I've asked about them, the cashier (whose English appears to be limited to "Thank you") merely smiled and nodded a lot. I wonder what she thought I was saying?

Anyway, I wanted to share the good news and turn on readers of this blog to this spicy treat. But how could I do this? I could describe them ("Roasted peas coated with wasabi") but that neither sounds tasty nor puts you any closer to enjoying them. I can't tell you what's written on the package because it's almost entirely in Japanese, with an English/French ingredients label glued on moments before it crosses the Canadian border. What to do, what to do? If only they had a web site!

Scanning the foil packaging, I spotted a web address amongst all the katakana text. Unfortunately, www.kasugai.co.jp is also almost entirely in Japanese, except for the occasional bits of English tossed in to make it seem trendy, according to the same logic that compels some Japanese students to wear a T-shirt that reads "Very Best Enjoy New York".

Since I don't read Japanese, I wasn't so much surfing their site as dog-paddling. I couldn't even find a picture of the product. However, after some dedicated research on Google I did find an English site that says something about wasabi peas; click here to see it.

It's not a spectacular site, but you've got to admire their no-nonsense approach. In the description of the snack, they have this notation:

"Aroma: Smells like peas, sort of."

They do indeed. They're also wonderfully crunchy, spicy, and are a hoot to bring to a party. But please, don't be a jerk: warn people that wasabi isn't just pretty and green.

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