Monday, February 26, 2007

bet you can't stop at just one

All right, I'll admit it, I'm addicted.

Ever since I discovered that our local supermarket carried little cans of hot wasabi peas, I've become an out-of-control snacker. The market may not have fresh spinach or chocolate chips or proper brown sugar, but they have hot wasabi peas. It's a step in the right direction. But it's also my downfall. I cannot stop eating those things.

What's worse is that shortly after my discovery, Mr M found out that the wholesale market we sometimes shop at has great big cans of wasabi peas, as well as their partner in crime, those crunchy round sesame peanut crackers.

I can take or leave the sesame crackers, actually. It's those tiny peas that have really stolen my heart and my taste buds.

I'm obviously done for now and will have to start rationalizing my consumption. Hmm, let's peas are vegetables, aren't they? There's got to be some nutrition in there somewhere. And if you let the delicious, spicy wasabi coating melt slowly on your tongue it'll clear that sinus infection right up. A definite health benefit, for me at least. At this time I'm still in denial about the palm oil and the FD&C Yellow #5 and Blue #1 dyes, though, and have chosen to ignore how those ingredients may be affecting my quality of life.

But I guess there are worse things to be addicted to, and it looks like many people in Germany may start thinking about kicking the habit soon. The tobacco habit, that is. Last Friday Hannover played host to the "Nichtraucher Gipfel" - a summit to discuss Germany's anti-smoking laws, or lack thereof. State health ministers finally agreed to ban smoking in public buildings including hospitals, schools, daycare centres, night clubs, pubs and restaurants, unless restaurant owners are able to provide a separate room for patrons who still wish to smoke. Smoking will also be prohibited in public transportation, something I am very happy about.

Further information here:

German States Agree On Limited Smoking Ban in Restaurants

Germany Will Ring in 2008 Smoke-Free

The Power Behind the German Smoking Ban Stalemate

Opinion: Plans For Smoking Ban Are Half-Hearted

This ban is a huge step forward in terms of protecting the health of Germany's citizens, especially children. Over 3,000 people in Germany die every year from the effects of passive smoking, whereas not one single person has expired from watching me eat hot wasabi peas.

Food for thought.

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At February 26, 2007 4:59 p.m., Blogger Pam said...

I haven't tried (or even seen)either the crackers or the peas but you sure make 'em sound good!!! A delicious addiction!

At February 26, 2007 5:43 p.m., Blogger hexe said...

I've never tried them either. Looks like another item to add to the list of things to try.

At February 26, 2007 6:47 p.m., Blogger vailian said...

Terrific they are, my german substitute for Cheetos...
Re: smoking: A sign has gone up in the opera house, saying that as of March 1st, there is to be no smoking. I was elated until I read the next sentence: "Except in the cafeteria". Which is the place it needs to be banned most! It is crazy, and I intend to take my protest to the highest authorities. Wish me luck.

At February 26, 2007 7:12 p.m., Anonymous Maribeth said...

I love the Wasabi Peas too. They are just too, too good!
Here's hoping they do ban smoking totally.

At February 26, 2007 9:01 p.m., Blogger C N Heidelberg said...

"At this time I'm still in denial about the palm oil and the FD&C Yellow #5 and Blue #1 dyes, though, and have chosen to ignore how those ingredients may be affecting my quality of life."

Spoken like a true German! How well you've adapted! :)

As for the smoking ban, I'll believe it when I see it! I miss that very much about Boston - going out here gives me itchy eyes and a headache.

At February 26, 2007 10:07 p.m., Anonymous That Queer Expatriate said...

smoking ban....

.... dream come true.

At February 26, 2007 11:04 p.m., Blogger J said...

We've been down this road before with the non-smoking laws. I'll believe it when I see it.

What supermarket are goodies found in?

At February 27, 2007 12:36 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Pam - Well you really have to love wasabi to like the peas, but even my 10 yr old likes them.

hexe - Go for it, they're really great.

vailian - I know, you can just eat them all day, can't you. Oh man, that's so typically German to let people smoke in the cafeteria. Good luck with the protest. I have a feeling they'll eventually have to change that if all these rulings go through.

maribeth - You have very good taste! And yes, let's hope the non-smoking thing sticks this time.

cnheidelberg - You mean I've been assimilated???? Help! And yeah, the smoke really affects me too so I don't go out that much.

queer expatriate - Wouldn't it be great? I'm SO happy they're going to ban smoking on trains.

J - I have a feeling this time it just may work, and if it doesn't, the EU will eventually just decide even if Germany can't.

Got the small cans of peas at Edeka and the big ones at Metro, but you need a company card to shop there. I'm sure they'd also be available in Asian markets as well. This brand is made in Thailand.

At February 27, 2007 5:57 a.m., Blogger Berlinbound said...

I hope the smoking ban actually takes hold - it's impossible to take HH anywhere without ending up in a cloud of smoke - it's time!

At February 27, 2007 9:02 a.m., Blogger mar said...

We have been enjoying a smoking ban in Spain for a year and I am loving every minute!! it makes such a difference! haven't tried those snacks (don't even know if they are available here) but from your description I might as well keep my fingers off! dangerous, dangerous for the waistine :)

At February 27, 2007 9:30 a.m., Blogger meredith said...

You're funny! As I have never actually seen you eat a hot wasabi pea, I cannot be sure what nefast effect that might have one me...

At February 27, 2007 9:31 a.m., Blogger meredith said...

on me I meant to say

ps they do look delicious

At February 27, 2007 10:48 a.m., Blogger Andrea said...

I sure hope the smoking ban works before we move next year. That's the reason we only eat at McDonalds and Pizza Hut - smoke and no smoke areas.

At February 27, 2007 10:57 a.m., Blogger tinakala said...

They look to be delicious. But I`ll try to find that stuff here.

At February 27, 2007 10:58 a.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

I love the wasabi peas! Yum.

As for the smoking ban, I'm pretty sure that Germany will make it happen. They don't have much choice. So many EU countries have taken the step already.

At February 27, 2007 1:07 p.m., Blogger Betsy said...

I love love LOVE wasabi peas!!!!!

Smoking ban would be a real bonus. It's really ironic that so many people smoke here since ze Germans in general seem so health conscious.

Organic foods and naturopathic remedies are so popular here, but then people still choose to flood their bodies with tar, nicotine and other poisonous chemicals. I just don't get it....

At February 27, 2007 2:13 p.m., Blogger christina said...

You have no idea how excited I am that they have a smoking ban in Germany. It has been one of the things I have been dreading about moving there. Here in MD they just finished banning smoking pretty much anywhere except outside or in your own home.
It is an awful and disgusting habit that is harmful to others around you.(aka: second hand smoke kills)
I hope it sticks, as many of the comments here indicate that in the past they have tried to ban smoking with no sucess?

At February 27, 2007 3:25 p.m., Blogger christina said...

berlinbound- I know - the lack of a smoking ban shows a total disregard for children's health AND also creates more tobacco addicts (there are huge numbers of young German teens smoking) by setting a bad example. Can you believe that up until now it has been OK to smoke in hospitals, schools and daycare centres? Grrr.

mar - It must be lovely to have a smoke-free environment. And I'm going cold turkey today - haven't eaten a single pea!

meredith - Well, you'd see my eyes water and hear me say "Whooo!" but other than that, you'd be safe.

andrea - They say it probably won't come into effect completely until 2008. You know how slowly things move around here, unfortunately.

tinakala - Very, very green. I was just reading that real wasabi is actually quite expensive and the stuff you get at sushi bars, even Japanese ones, is usually an imitation made of horseradish, mustard oil and food colouring. Scary. But I refuse to give up my peas.

CS - Well I think the thing to do is for the EU to just insist on it without giving Germany and choice at all. When then do have a choice, nothing happens because they can't make up their minds.

Betsy - I always have to smile when people (usually the ones who don't live here) say that the Germans seem to be so health conscious. Yes, they do have all the natural stuff, but at the same time many of them live a lifestyle that's quite frightening
in terms of tobacco and alcohol abuse, which is also rampant among German teenagers.

christina - (There are so many Christina's out there that we'll have to start numbering them soon!) Thanks for visiting. I've just been perusing your blog. The last time they tried to put through an anti-smoking law it was deemed "unconstitutional", which is a load of nonsense. Germany is VERY slow to change anything, even if it desperately needs to be done. Smoking bans, the education system and the (failed)integration of foreigners are just a few examples.

At February 27, 2007 5:00 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I think I've had those wasabi peas before, Christina, but not here in Germany. I know I'd get addicted to them as well! They've GOT to be good for something!!!

Wasn't it just our last time together, less than a month ago, that we thought Germany would never make the smoking ban on their own?! Oh my. Wonders will never cease.

At February 27, 2007 5:56 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I absolutely love them! I'm walking that way today (oh no!). I guess it's justified becuase I'll be walking more, no more car...

Blogger is causing me craziness... I'm sure Ginnie is right!

It's blue skies here today, be sure to check out my photo!


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