Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Chilli [Sic] Lemon VIP Nuts

OK, so we're suckers for flashy packaging. That's why we set aside this bag of New York Delhi chilli [sic] lemon-flavored "VIP" nuts when we got them in a gift basket over Christmas. And we nearly forgot about them until the silver bag caught our eye during a pantry reorganization.

We flipped on the football game (hopeful the Fins would somehow kill the Patriots), grabbed a frosty mug of beer, and dumped the contents of the shiny bag into a bowl. Yep, they were regular ol' peanuts, though they looked liked they were swathed in Snooki's bronzer and

sprinkled with some brown and white spice. Then we turned the bag

over to see what we were about to digest: peanuts, vegetable oil, and

chilli [sic]/lemon flavour [sic], which was further defined as salt,

spices, lemon juice, flavourings [sic], acidity regulator, and rusk. Uh,

"acidity regulator" and "rusk"? What the...? And what's with all this

British spelling when the name brand was New York Delhi?

Let's tackle one question at a time. First, it turns out rusk is a wheat-based food additive that, we presume, helps bind the spices to the nuts. The acidity regulator, we surmised, was to counter what could've been an overpowering lemon taste. And as for the brand name, it seems the New York Delhi Co. is based in London, hence the Queen's English spellings. 

The company claims its name is "witty and clever," reflecting that its products are "influenced by the style of the world-renowned New York delis" and offer "the taste and vibrancy of the Indian city of Delhi." Sorry, folks. Not feeling it. Now, as for the flavor (no sic this time!) of these "Very Important Peanuts," all we can say is "feh." Yes, if you suck on them, you get the lemony taste, followed by chili, and then the lemon returns. But if you just pop one in your mouth, it's just all about the peanut. Feh. 

After visiting the brand's website, we found they also make a Mumbai Mix, Masala curry flavor, and a Manukah Honey and Mustard, which undoubtedly costs the most since this type of honey can run upward of $30 a jar. Now those are flavors we could get into. Alas, we were given only this variety as a gift, so we were stuck.

Now then, who should eat these? Maybe Indians in England who fantasize about eating peanuts in a New York deli. And people with allergies and a death wish. Feh.

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Riki Altman