Stadium mustard is the best mustard there is — thick and and brown and spicy, with a nice little kick — and it tastes even better in a stadium. Today, Russell and I were up in ice-cold Cleveland Browns Stadium to watch the Browns take on the Steelers, and we had to get some stadium dogs and some crinkle cut fries. The $9.50 price tag put a dent in the wallet, but we were there to root on the Brownies and you just have to eat a dog before you can root for the Dawgs.
As good as the Stadium mustard was, the game itself was even better. The Browns beat the Steelers for the first time since 2009 and one of the few times since Cleveland came back into the NFL in 1999. It was a tough, hard-hitting game in which the Browns forced 8 turnovers, the rhythm of the game was destroyed by constant penalties, and the Browns offense was unable to put the game away despite repeated opportunities. Still, a win is a win is a win, and lately any win over the Steelers is a win worth savoring — with a little mustard, of course.
I’ve been trying to eat healthier, and I’ve found the perfect food — wasabi peas.
Bear with me here. First of all, you start with the fact that you are eating peas. Peas! They are a green vegetable, last time I checked, so closely associated with good eating that mothers hectoring their children to “eat your peas” has become part of American lore. If your latest food addiction involves eating peas in somewhat modified form, you are off to a good start. The fact that the peas are dried and are there mainly to serve as the launching pad for wasabi doesn’t remove the checkmark from the healthy eating box.
And what about wasabi? It’s made from a plant, too, of the same family that includes horseradish and mustard. Plus, it’s Japanese in origin, which almost by definition means it’s healthy, right up there with sushi and sashimi. Wasabi’s fiery taste and burn clears sinuses better than Vicks Vaporub, and doesn’t leave you smelling like the filter of a menthol cigarette, either. The sinus-clearing effect, obviously, further enhances the healthy impact of the peas.
And finally, the combination of the crunch of the dried peas, and the sharp taste of the wasabi, makes wasabi peas the perfect food to accompany a cold beer. We know that beer has a crucial impact on the development of civilization and was a healthier beverage for our ancient ancestors than water from often fouled, disease-ridden waterways.
So there you have it — a healthy food trifecta that is so addicting I could eat my weight of the little volcanic nuggets and burn permanent holes in my stomach lining. O, happy coincidence!