Mind boggling. That was my first reaction because all along I thought these peanuts came from Japan. It would fully explain the name Japanese nuts, or Japanese coated peanuts or even cracker nuts.
However, the origin of these delicious, deep fried coated peanuts is from Mexico.
It is a distinctive Mexican snack that look quite so different from what we know.
Many Japanese immigrate to Mexico in the late 19th century and they were mainly farmers who are trying to grow coffee and other useful crops. Free immigration continued up until the Pearl Harbor attack and that was when Mexico cut diplomatic ties with Japan. Following on American policy, Mexico rarested some of the Japanese migrant workers from near the United States border and sent them to internment camps.
Mexico’s Japanese residents started to rebuild their lives as it seems like Japan was unlikely to invade Mexico. Yoshigei Nakatani, who immigrated from Japan, married a Mexican woman and settled in a Japanese neighborhood in the capital. He invented this snack and sold them in La Merced Market under the brand name Nipon, a japanese word that means Japan. For twenty years he sold it in this wholesale market and with great success, they finally opened its first factory. In Spanish, they are called cacahuates japoneses or maní japonés.
This snack is basically both Japanese and Mexican.
Coated with a thick coat of flour before frying them, the result is a sweet, crunchy, slightly salty taste of gourmet peanuts not found in other snacks. The Mexican version is a plain, soy-sauce based coating which is so different from what we know.
The Japanese peanuts that we commonly see in Japan food fairs do come from Japan, and they take on the form that has seaweed, ikan bilis, and various shapes and textures of the coated flavour. Our grade is a delicious mix of the popular gourmet flavours and is uniquely mixed in Singapore, which is why we term them the Oishi Japanese nuts!
It will be hard to find such thick, juicy ikan bilis from other brands. We even tried some which are sold in Japan food fairs but they do not taste as savoury and give the umami taste too. Of course our snacks are also much cheaper than what was sold in Japan food fairs.
We may not have the best price for 200g as we have to incur some shipping costs via SingPost but we definitely have the best price for the 1kg pack size. Do try some of our gourmet nuts range today and enjoy the addictive, crunchy texture!