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Spain discovers edamame...and supermarkets run out
ALREADY a staple ingredient in vegetarian and vegan ready meals and restaurant menus in many western countries, edamame has only just found its way to the vegetable counters of supermarkets in Spain.
But after advertising it as 'a tasty snack that helps you lose weight without trying', stores across the country have run out just as fast as they began to stock it.
A young, unripe soya bean consumed in its pod, edamame is normally boiled or steamed, with or without salt, and eaten whole, meaning no peeling, chopping or other preparation is required and they can be ready in two or three minutes.
They are filling and full of flavour, but with no fat, minimal carbohydrates and very few calories, meaning serial fridge-raiders can chomp them all day long without worrying too much about putting on extra pounds, or kilos.
Edamame pods have followed the same trail as aloe vera, green tea, quinoa and avocado as low-fat, high-nutrition foodstuffs that have made their way around the world onto the plates and into the cups of those who seek optimum health benefits from their diet.
Until now, other than in Asian restaurants – and even then, very rarely – edamame beans have rarely been seen in Spain, but no sooner have they started to appear on supermarket shelves, they have vanished faster than the chains can restock them.
Carlos Ríos, founder of the Spanish movement 'Realfooding', contacted Mercadona when he was unable to buy his usual supply.
He tagged them on Twitter with the message: “Let the Edamame Hunger Games commence!”
They replied to his tweet with: “We are currently out of stock and, over the course of the coming summer, we will once again be offering this product in our stores. We apologise for any inconvenience. We have taken your comments on board and shared them with those in charge of this product. Best regards.”
A flood of tweets followed from all over the country, with one – presumably tongue-in-cheek – claiming her daughter was crying because her 'usual poke-bowl' was short of these magic beans.
El Corte Inglés supermarkets, catching onto the 'Edamame Hunger Games' theme, posted a photograph (second picture) of a scene from the film with the caption: “We've got them!”
Other consumers on Twitter have said that 'the hunt is now on' and urging people to stockpile their freezers 'so they can survive until summer' when Mercadona gets some more.
It has not been confirmed whether other major national chains such as Carrefour and Mas y Mas have been stocking them.
If El Corte Inglés runs out before then, Spain's new-found 'Realfooders' may have to switch to another almost-calorie-free munching snack, such as celery, cucumbers or carrots, all of which are in stock practically year-round in Spanish stores.
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