Steve flew to California today and had to sit next to this guy.  He was even wearing the purple suit covered in question marks.  “I had absolutely nothing to say to him,” said Steve.  No?  Not “dude.  Seriously.  What the hell?”  or “So…Batman still up in your face?”  Or I know! “If there’s so much money just laying around for the taking, why are you flying coach?”

We need a new segment.  So, with a reverential nod to “Steve, don’t eat it!” I bring you:

Hey, kids!  Try this!

When I shop at the Asian Market, I am always just bowled over by the amount of weird crap they sell.  Weird crap that, presumably, someone eats.  They are packed to the rafters with products from Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, India…So with such a wide clientele to please, they must be choosing what to buy, not just saying “eh, fill up a shipping carton with what you have,” so these must be things that they assume are desired.  Apparently squid, in its many forms, is a hotly desired product.  Pressed, chipped, dried, frozen, pickled…Short of “dipped in chocolate on a stick” I’ve not seen a way it isn’t prepared.  Alas, my vegetarian children are not willing to be subjected to squid, but they ARE almost always willing to try new things that might be sweet.  So today, while buying fresh tofu and frozen dumplings, I got some snacks.

First up:

toasted wheat cake

“Toasted Wheat Cake” also “with purple yam and crispy young rice”  Yet they are wrapped like bon-bons.  How can we resist?  This snack from the Philippines is stamped “Export Quality”–so at least there’s quality control.  We unwrap one.  It’s really pale and looks like pressed whole wheat flour:

naked wheat cake

Tentative tasting…and YUM!  The texture is just divine, it crumbles to powder and then melts in your mouth.  The flavor is also great and kind of familiar.  I look at the ingredients: Wheat Flour, skim milk, cane sugar, purple yam powder, pounded young rice, and butter.  Oh, it’s shortbread.  Well there you go.  It is met with “Can I have another!” from all three kids.  Sorry children, we have science to do.

Next up, Barquiron!

barquiron

…with cashew nuts!  Also wrapped like candy.  Also an Export Quality product of the Phillipines (which, I’ve decided, we should pronounce phil-IP-pin-nees.  While I”m getting things pronounced).  Unwrapping these gets a lot of squeals as they are  very crumbly when broken. When whole, they seem to be a cookie with something powdery (and not unlike the wheat cake) inside.

barquiron

Taste?  Good.  Almost very good, but so close on the heels of those yummy shortbread things that it doesn’t quite measure up.  But tasty and of an interesting texture, which is always good for a bonus point.  All three agree that the wheat cakes are better, though.

And finally, remaining in the Phillipines, but straying from the comfort of Export Quality food, We get:

cracker nuts

Regardless of how they turn out, I think “cracker nuts” needs to enter conversation.  “Dude, she went totally cracker nuts on me!”  I was hoping for Adobo flavor, but I was denied.  These are nuts in a thin crispy shell.  Kind of….crackery.  There’s a slightly spicy powder on them, but nothing smoky.

last known photo of cracker nuts

sorry it looks a bit “last known photo.”  Ben loved them.  I kind of like them but think the aftertaste is pretty nasty.  The girls were unimpressed.  They are all looking forward to finishing dinner to score another wheat cake.

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