Friday, February 1, 2013
There's another blog out there called "The Japanese Snack Food Review" that predates my blog. I didn't know that it existed until after I had applied my unimaginative naming to my blog. The interesting thing about both blogs is that there is so little overlap in content. It's only on rather rare occasions that we have reviewed the same things. That just goes to show that there is an amazing wide world of junk food out there from Japan (and other parts of Asia) to go around such that a plethora of review blogs can't manage to educate you on the whole picture. Of course, I'm not saying that two blogs constitute a "plethora", but we're not the only two handling this vast and immensely important topic.
The reason I'm mentioning the other blog with a similar name is that this product made me think of it. "The Japanese Snack Food Review" hasn't updated in awhile, or I would have thought of it because of having read a review. While I have smiling, grimacing or frowning sumo faces as my review system, that blog uses wasabi peas. I've never actually consumed a wasabi pea, but these wasabi pistachios come close and they reminded me of that other blog. It makes me think that I should actually try a wasabi pea one of these days.
Regarding the matter at hand, these wasabi pistachios, they come to me courtesy of Madison Vigil, who is selling and distributing these at this web site. When you go on over and have a peak, don't look too closely at the mascot. Their karate kid with a pistachio head demonstrating that these are "The Nut With A Kick" looks like it came out of a David Lynch movie. In fact, now that I've said that, I wonder if Mr. Lynch will do some vanity searching, find this reference and contact the maker of this snack for permission to make a movie starring "pistachio head". It'll be the surreal tale of a sentient nut that meanders a Dali-esque landscape searching for his parents, a pistachio tree and a vegan lesbian who somehow merged during an electrical storm on a night in which a harmonic convergence occurred while eating screaming brazil nuts. Or something.
Now that you have that image in your head, let's talk salty snack food. When that movie (inevitably) gets made, you'll need something appropriate to crunch on while you're watching the disturbing images play out before you. This is definitely the right choice when it comes to that. There are 25 single-serving packets in the tub, so do take a group of friends to the world premiere. The small portions are something you should be happy for two reasons. First of all, they are pretty calorific at 152 calories per 1 oz/28 g serving. Second, too much wasabi at once is going to punch a hole through the back of your sinuses and climb up into your brain and set it alight (I'm sure that'll be in the David Lynch movie as well).
The first thing I did was open the packet and give it a sniff and these smell great. The mixture of the scent of pistachios and wasabi is a lovely one. I placed one on my tongue and let it's heat play for a bit until it smacked my nasal passages so abusively that I had to give in and bite into one. That taste yielded the familiar chlorophyll notes of wasabi coupled with the warm and fatty nature of the pistachio. There is also some well-balanced saltiness and sweetness. The flavor profile is definitely complex if you give it time to unfold. If you just chow down on them like a crunchy addictive snack food, I'm guessing they'll just seem pretty hot, nutty and sweet at the same time. I do recommend, however, that you try to slow down and enjoy them properly.
While most of these did a proper wasabi punch on my senses (oh, my sinuses!), an occasional nut seemed not to have quite the same effect. I'm not sure if that was acclimation of my senses, or if the heat-producing elements aren't absolutely evenly distributed. The truth is that it is almost welcome if it's inconsistent because these are fairly potent in the best way, but also in the way that the heat can layer on and build up a bit. A little "rest" isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I really enjoyed these, and appreciated the sample sent to me to review. If you're a wasabi and pistachio fan, you can buy your own tub for $9.50 at their web site. My only reservation is that they are pretty fattening, and it's really easy to just lose track and eat several packets. There are certainly worse things for one to worry about in life than getting fat on wasabi pistachios.