Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wah-sobby Story

What next?

Today's Washington Post reported that the wasabi we've all been eating is actually just "plain old horseradish" dyed green. The green dye is a combination of yellow dye # 5 and blue dye # 1. 

In my late thirties, I enrolled in a beginning Japanese course at the University of Maryland. I stayed with it for four years, taking every language course offered. Each class got progressively smaller, until finally, our professor said (her area of expertise was the poet Basho), "We can't teach a course for just two students." Thus ended my academic adventure with an exotic language. Before the class was whittled down to just a pair, a larger group celebrated the end of the semester by going to a Japanese restaurant. 

In the late seventies, there was only one Japanese restaurant in the area--the Sakura, on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Md. My husband went to the restaurant with the class. We all ordered sushi, which was served on lacquer trays, each decorated a small green "flower." Before anyone could stop him, my husband skillfully picked up the flower with his chopsticks and popped it in his mouth. 

Fire belched from his ears. Tears filled his eyes. Professor K. said, "Oh, no, you didn't----"

Beer, tea, water were no help at all. 

He was wasabi-wise after that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Thanks.

Today I stopped at Super Best Market (formerly Grand Mart)  for wasabi peas. We're planning a trip and can't leave home without them.

Passing the dairy case, I noticed a half-dozen cartons of small, spotted eggs. I stopped for a closer look. They turned out to be quail eggs. Even though Super Best Market serves Asian, Hispanic and African customers with foods from home, I was surprised that there was even a demand in li'l old Laurel for such an exotic item. 

Next to the quail eggs was a carton of "Preserved Duck Egg." The package pictured an unappetizing-looking purplish-black egg. It advised the consumer that this evil-looking thing, which was the color of graphite, was "lead-free". Good to know, but I think I'll pass.