When it comes to four words that you wouldn’t expect to appear together, “milk peanut with soup” is probably rather high on the list. Perhaps not quite as high as “regiment of rampaging rambutans,” but it’s still an unlikely combination. Speaking of four, Chiao Kuo Milk Peanut with Soup has just four ingredients: water, peanuts, milk powder, and sugar. That’s not counting the folding plastic spoon under the lid, of course. The presence of the folding plastic spoon is hardly even worthy of a mention anymore, since it seems to appear atop virtually all mysterious canned dessert soups.
The package depicts Milk Peanut with Soup as being a bright mixture of white peanuts and almost-fluorescent liquid. It’s served in a clear glass bowl with a metal spoon. Obviously we aren’t getting a metal spoon or a fancy bowl with this can of Milk Peanut with Soup, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the rest of the illustration is equally illusive.
Upon opening Milk Peanut with Soup, one is greeted mainly by soup (and an uninviting smell), with nary a milk peanut in sight. And this soup is far from fluorescent; it’s a troubling shade of taupe with drops of oil languishing on top. Upon stirring the soup with the included folding plastic spoon, a few paltry peanuts momentarily float to the surface. They bob around briefly before sinking back to the bottom of the can. This general lack of legumes leads me to believe that this product might have been more accurately called “Soup with Milk Peanut” or even “Milk Soup with Peanut,” since at first it appeared that there might actually be only one peanut in the whole soup.
After a few attempts, I was finally able to nab one of these nuts with the folding plastic spoon. This was very unfortunate, indeed. The combination of water, peanuts, milk powder, and sugar proved to be quite unappetizing. My culinary co-conspirator and I each consumed a single peanut before agreeing that this was a snack that should be set aside. It ended up being ignominiously impelled into a ready receptacle.
Interestingly enough, the can proclaims that these are “Taiwan Peanuts,” apparently showing the same level of Taiwanese pride as seen on the package of Shownice Boiled Salted Duck Eggs. But unlike the decidedly delicious duck eggs, these peanuts are not certified as to their “Taiwan of origin.” This leaves open the very real possibility that Milk Peanut with Soup is actually an East Mangoustani plot to discredit the milk peanut producers of Taiwan. In the world of strange snacks, the skullduggery never seems to end.