What follows is a first-encounter-with-Wasabi story, followed by a review. Many people have mixed feelings about Wasabi, the Japanese horse-radish like plant that is often served as paste to accompany sushi. Many lust for its intensly spicy sensation, it’s flamethrower like effect on the nostrils, its exotic mustard-like aroma. But many have been hurt by Wasabi. Badly. So badly, they swear off Wasabi and believe it their mission to shelter all innocents from its piquant embrace. This is a tragedy, but even more terrible is their spreading of these repressive anti-wasabi teachings, thereby preventing others from realizing their own spicy Aspian bliss.
|Wasabi plant being converted into Wasabi|
paste. A dissapointing fact: most
'wasabi' products (paste, powder, etc.) are
not actually made from wasabi, but rather
a mix of horseradish, mustard powder
and green dye. Like the characters in
the Matrix, we have no idea what reality
tastes like; but at least the approximation
My history with wasabi began ten years ago, while I was working on a human trafficking internship for the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, Arizona, and living away from everyone I knew in a small apartment by myself. My mom, being a quintessential mom, sent me packages. The first one that arrived included an assortment of books, baked cookies, and some garishly multi-colored canisters that looked like they should hold tennis balls. But no, they were cans full of Wasabi peas. So eating all by myself in my lonely Phoenix apartment is how I discovered Wasabi- and also played through 80% of Baldur’s Gate II.
|They look so innocent...|
|Khamseen: a hot, dry, dusty windstorm|
of the sort common in North Africa. See
also: your nostrils after eating a hand full
of wasabi peas...
The crisps themselves are a pretty green in color, as one would expect, and the flavoring is no more and no less than what you’d expect. They taste absolutely like real wasabi, and inspired me to cram my mouth to get one more blistering hit, but I should note that the burnination was generally under control. The chips are spicy, but less likely to set you on fire inside-out than the Wasabi peas I cut my egg-teeth on, or other Wasabi-related things I have eaten. Overall, this is probably a good thing, but it will disappoint anyone craving the firepower to sterilize their sinuses.
|Not enough Burnination to please |
Trogdor, for better or worse.
But if you need more,
here's a guide...
The potato slices themselves were kind of unimpressive- standard Lay’s chips that are ultra-thin and not particularly crunchy. They still did their job, but I believe I would have enjoyed them more if the crisps hadn’t been as flimsy as paper cranes in a hurricane. So, I don’t doubt that other manufacturors have gone ahead and formulated Wasabi chips, and if they are at least as good as the ones by Vitasia, I definitely recommend trying them out. The idea is so obvious and intrinsically worthwhile that the product itself doesn’t have to be of super high quality to still provide a welcome surprise fireball cleansing for their taste buds and nose hairs.
- Delivers the classic-Wasabi flavor, just like you’d want it
- Adequate flavoring, adequate heat-
- Chips are as pretty green as leprechaun lasses
- Strictly no frills
- Rather weak in texture