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Koh Kae Spicy Hot Pot Peanuts Mala: Purchased from HMart in Midtown, this can of peanuts has a uniquely spiced chili flavor that actually does taste similar to a schezuan-style hot pot. It’s savory but not overly spicy, with just enough heat. The roasted peanuts themselves were pretty ordinary, but the seasoning makes them worth trying. 3.0/5.0

3.0 mala peanuts pot hot spicy kohkae nuts asian hmart
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Golden Steamer Hot dog bao: This savory hot dog bao comes in a swirled conical shape reminiscent of pigs in a blanket and contains a small Chinese sausage, about the size of a frozen American breakfast sausage - in other words, a sort of cultural crossover from an alternate universe. The bread is slightly sweetened and chewy. Overall, it’s a good sweet and savory option, but if you’re looking for protein, go for the Big Bun. Still, it’s tasty for what it is and costs only $1. Note: Unfortunately, I will no longer be ba... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 bao dog hot goldensteamer bread chinatown nyc recommended
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House Kombucha Ginger Fire Ginger and Green Tea with Hot Peppers: The first time I had kombucha six years ago, I found it so disgusting that I hadn't touched it since. But I do like ginger a lot, and this brand of House Kombucha was offered for free at work, so I decided to keep an open mind and give it a try. I expected it to have a very spicy flavor given the flames on the packaging, but it was much more mild (even if the heat built up a bit over time). Despite the lack of ginger heat, I was pleasantly surprised with the overall flavor, which was sligh... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 peppers hot tea green fire ginger housekombucha sf drinks recommended
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Tao Kae Noi Hot Chili Squid Grilled Seaweed Super Crisp: The unique texture of these ultra thin and crispy seaweed crisps inspires me to keep trying new flavors. This one, hot chili squid, tastes like a concentrated seafood ramen seasoning packet, except that it incorporates a sweet garlic chili paste that makes it unsettling sweet. More zesty than spicy. It’s one of the less successful flavors from this line of snacks but not so bad that I wouldn’t purchase a flavor I haven’t tried before. If you enjoy dried seaweed snacks but haven’t picked up t... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 crisp super seaweed grilled squid chili hot taokaenoi nijiya
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Calbee Hot Garlic Shrimp Crackers: Another unexpected take on this classic Chinese shrimp cracker, this time "hot garlic." Ridged crisps are tossed in a tangy seasoned coating that is unmistakably garlic but not particularly spicy. Somewhat reminiscent of a sweet paprika flavor mixed with MSG. Same delicious savory shrimp flavor. I don't know if I like it more than the original, but I don't regret trying it either. 3.0/5.0

3.0 crackers shrimp garlic hot calbee chinese seafood berkeleybowl
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Pomo Tierra Farms Hot Apple Cider: When I stopped at Cheeseboard this morning to pick up some breakfast, I saw a handwritten sign for seasonal hot apple cider from Pomo Tierra farms. I purchased the drink, then saw a man pour apple cider from a bottle of Bernie’s, a local apple cider brand they sell at various East Bay shops. I asked to clarify-was it Pomo Tierra Farms or Bernie’s? They told me they were the same thing. Then I had a sinking feeling that I had become That Berkeley Person, challenging exactly which organic app... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 cider apple hot pomotierrafarms berkeley cheeseboard drinks recommended