Monday, April 23, 2007

leave it to the experts — results and a review

i have long liked making things "from scratch". this can be both a good thing and a bad one.

my successes have often afforded me a sense of accomplishment and pride and the ability to see just what is possible from my own two hands. often, the more complicated and challenging a project is, the more i am attracted to it and want to do it.

oddly enough, i also fully embrace the mishaps disasters, looking at them as learning experiences rather than failures. somehow the things that go wrong seem to make me want to redo them to "get it right" — i am tenacious and don't give up easily. sometimes, however, some things are better left alone. i must admit: some things just aren't worth making yourself.

many months ago, when i started my blog, i added a recipe for something i found in a newspaper. i thought, "wow, brilliant .... can't wait to make these! i can't believe i found a recipe for how to make something i really love eating". i figured i would just post it without having tried it first .... (something i wouldn't normally do).

i finally found myself in the mood to try this recipe out a little while ago and the votes are in. all i can say is, well, folks, this definitely counts as a major failure. it was so bad i ended up throwing it out. i even "threw out", i.e. deleted, the pictures of it.

after experimenting with this recipe, two things occurred: the first was that i was really disappointed it didn't taste good (ok, it was vile) and annoyed that i wasted ingredients on making it. the second thing was that i couldn't understand how the person who came up with the recipe could even think it was anywhere equivalent to the original intended product.

so i guess, by now, you are wondering what i'm talking about ?? (lol)

wasabi peas. yuck. oh, yuck. double, triple yuck.

my mini review is that:

first of all, tahina mixed with wasabi [powder] paste is vile. none of the extra supporting ingredients came close to correcting the bitter edge these two very strong tasting main ingredients formed together.

the resulting mixture was uber thick and bizarre. (read: glop). i sort of figured it would go weird since adding liquid to tahina paste makes it almost semi solid.

finding the proper peas is not an easy feat. they seem to be an obscure grocery item and are not the same kind as ordinary garden ones. in interest of experimentation, i dry roasted chickpeas as a substitute. my aim wasn't so much in the pea, at that point, but rather the coating.

once baked, the coating was still thick and, well, weird. it was also grayish and nowhere near an analog. taste wise, it was acrid and unpalatable.

i guess the lesson to take from this is that some things sound better than they are in reality. i think i'll leave the making of wasabi peas to the experts in the factories.


Nafeesah said...

Oh dear, did they really come out so horrible? how sad! :'( yesterday for the first time in 3 years I came across a packet of wasabi peas and being a lover of them I pounced upon them only to be extremely disgusted by the taste! I just dont understand it..the first bite was heavenly, the second bite and my mouth was FLOODED with the taste of chemicals and preservatives and I just about was totally weird.

At that point I remembered that I had seen the words 'wasabi peas' floating around somewhere on your blog so i'm like no worries, I'll just try that one lol...

Ah well..when I leave this island I'll probably find them ...:p

burekaboy — said...

hey nafeesah - LOL, we must be on at the same time! yeah, this recipe for them really sucked big time. it was so awful i spat it out. i don't know where this person thought using tahini in the mixture would be equivalent. anyway, it was worth the try to see what was what.

unfortunately, i've never found a recipe that comes close to the real wasabi peas. it makes me think that it is really something that has to be done in a factory. they are addictive though.

i'm sure some brands are better than others. i kind of laughed when you said the second taste was horrid. that's chemicals, for you!

i'm not sure i'd do well on the islands (even though i currently live on one!). not having access to what i'm used to would be very difficult for me.