Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Wasabi!

I really don't have a whole lot to say, but I feel obligated to type something. Paul just got back from Japan for business meetings and brought back about $100 worth of Japanese snacks (my obsession). I've been unhappy and stressed a lot lately (for a wide variety of reasons) and nothing puts me in a better mood than a bag full of sweet and salty treats from the Far East. One of the highlights of our once-yearly trek to EPCOT Center for the Wine Fest is the mandatory stop at the store in the Japanese section of World Showcase, where I inevitably...
a) Spend around 30-40 dollars on snacks
b) Eat most of said snacks before I leave the park
c) Drink waaaayyy too much sake

I will also stop at any Asian market I see, no matter where I am (New York, Australia, Georgia) and not be able to escape without dropping at least a $20. For the uninitiated, here's a brief summary of some of my favorites (old and new):

- Wasabi peas: Classic. My absolute favorite. Small fried peas with a crunchy wasabi coating. There are actually places in the US where you can get a decent bag (current favorite is at Wild Oats). Paul bought me an assortment of peas and beans, which kick butt! The more wasabi there is, the happier I am. I have eaten so many in one sitting that I lost the use of my taste buds for 2 days. Yummy!

- Pretz: These are like very skinny Japanese breadsticks, but the flavors are awesome. I love the salad and tomato flavors. The regular Pretz is slightly sweet, like a plain cookie. I found some roasted chicken flavor on a web site, which I think I have to try.

-Pocky: These are Pretz dipped in chocolate or various other sweet substances. Men's Pocky is dark chocolate flavored (I don't know why...) Paul got me black sesame flavor this time around - which looks odd, but tastes like peanut butter. He also got me green tea flavor (everything comes in green tea flavor over there, and it's not bad!) strawberry, framboise (raspberry), caramel and melon. He also bought me some called Fran (a Pocky knock off), but they're named after one of my best friends, so you can't pass it up. I also got my first 2 boxes of Giant Pocky - about 10" long and thicker than your average Pocky stick (Pocky on steroids!) I will be eating these for months...

- Melty Kiss - these are chocolates with green tea filling. The prospect was a bit frightening, but these are great (this is the confection I predict will be the first gone - Paul loves them too.)

- Miscellaneous candies and salty snacks: I don't speak Japanese, so I have no idea what they are - all I need to know is that they're good!

Paul had a very interesting trip. He saw a lot of cool stuff and went to a lot of cool places. I went to Naples. Oh well...I am actually supposed to go along on the next trip, so I should probably learn more than "My name is..." in Japanese! More later...

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