Cost: 160 yen
Found At: Lawson
When I lived in China, we would use any excuse to go get hot pot. Birthdays, holidays, business dinners, visiting friends, Tuesdays – whatever the occasion, we would all load into a taxi cab in search of spicy food. We went to hole-in-the-wall family joints that would never have passed a health inspection, upscale restaurants with bibs and cell-phone bags to keep the bright red broth from staining your clothes, and Cultural Revolution themed hot pot restaurants where servers in green camo and red armbands screamed communist slogans at you while you ate. And everywhere we went the food was spicy and the mood was jolly as we sweated and cried and stuffed ourselves silly. There are certainly things that I do not miss about China, but hot pot is not one of them.
So, you can imagine how delighted I was when Emil brought home a bag of spicy potato chips from the Lawson, flavored with both hot spicy and numbing spicy peppers. It was as if I had been offered the chance to relive my hot-pot experiences but in chip form. And I was not disappointed – these chips are incredible! They are a little sour at first, but then hit you with a perfectly balanced mix of hot and numbing spice that is hot enough to enjoy, but not so hot that you suffer. You can actually sit and enjoy the hot, happy flavors of peppers and potato and salt. It’s perfect with a sweet drink on a summer day spent reminiscing about your “time abroad.” I cannot recommend these chips highly enough – they are incredible!