Spicy-Numbing Green Peas

Brand: Numbing King

Cost: 108 yen

Found At: Daiso

I can’t shake the feeling that I’m chewing on an Ikea coffee table. It’s possible that the peas were too vigorously dehydrated. It is possible that the spicy-numbing flavor is vaguely reminiscent of the smell of wood varnish. It’s possible that I’m just not as crazy for green peas as I thought I was. Whatever the case may be, I can’t say that I give these a ringing endorsement as far as flavor and texture is concerned. In fairness to the company, I don’t think that subtly of flavor was the goal. With the reference to the “King of Numbness” and an overenthusiastic use of peppers and Sichuan peppercorns on the packaging, I imagine that these snacks exist as a novelty and not as a culinary masterpiece. And they do pack a punch, in that sneaky way that Sichuan peppercorns can. Just when you think that you’ve been scammed into eating green balsa wood, the numbing spice sets in. It’s not an overwhelming or sweat-inducing heat, but instead provides a pleasant, spicy sensation that persists for several minutes afterward. It is enough to give you hope – hope that you have misremembered and that this time when you bring a handful to your mouth, you will not be greeted with the taste of crunchy cardboard.

But that’s how they get you.

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