Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds

Brand: Blue Diamond

Cost: 4.99

Found at: Safeway

Thanks to a particularly cringy adolescence (for which I do not apologize), I have an unusual tolerance for wasabi.

A very few times a year, my nerdy friends and I would take a pilgrimage to the huge Asian grocery store in Seattle. While there, we would buy all the products one would expect of young people taking Japanese: ramune soda, pocky candy, and whatever cute keychains we could afford. Occasionally, someone would buy a volume of manga, and we would marvel at their expensive tastes.

Of course, no trip would be complete unless we pooled our resources and purchased a large (and expensive) container of wasabi pistachios. Sitting together in the basement of someone’s mom’s house, we’d compare treasures, gossip, and eat wasabi nuts until we nearly went blind. With eyes watering and noses running, we felt that we were living pretty high on the hog – and even now, I can’t help thinking of those happy times whenever I taste a nose-clearing punch of wasabi.

These Blue Diamond almonds are definitely delicious, but what they definitely are not is that potent snack of my youth. Labelling them as wasabi almonds is a little like comparing a housecat to a jaguar. Sure, the two things are related, but I don’t expect the overweight tabby, Gregor, to take down any of the deer in my neighborhood. These almonds have a nice salty taste balanced by light wasabi zing, but I could eat a whole container without ever being in danger of losing my sense of smell. They are the kind of thing you would serve at a house party and no one would mention them (beyond perhaps a brief and pleasant affirmation). In short, they are pleasant and inoffensive – but where’s the fun in that!?

Life’s too short to be mild.

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