I've tried a good few kinds of Koh-Kae peanuts since fist picking them up at a petrol station in Cambodia. I then discovered via the age old tradition of reading the packet that they were Thai and when we went back there a few days after I picked more up. Those were the more normal chicken flavour and were pretty moreish. When back in the UK we tried the wasabi flavour which was far too strong for the majority of us to cope with and they were donated to someone from another office foolish enough to finish them all.
Cut forwards about 4 years and I received these as a birthday present! I'd shied away from picking this flavour up purely because Tom Yum is a spicy soup and I didn't want to be in the same predicament as with the wasabi variety. I took these to work because I feared they would contaminate games and cards with their powder and dust coatings and on one brave day I decided to crack them open.
They are indeed spicy, but this fades pretty soon and with a drink at hand they are fine for anyone who likes spicy food. Tom Yum is hard to describe - I guess it's lemongrass and spices really but due to the name and the hint of sweetness I do want to suggest a kind of tomato vibe to it all (curse you red packaging!). I'm happily working my way through the tub.
The main thing that I get from these peanuts though is memories attached to the flavours. There aren't really many Thai things you can pick up that taste like they do in Thailand. Restaurants recreate as much as they can, but the freshness and the heat that surrounds you as you eat are missing to a degree. These Koh-Kae are essentially a canned version of that atmosphere.
Whereas other Thai produced products such as Pocky (a Japanese snack that is also produced locally then exported to the world) look to what other nations tastes and preferences are and aim to imitate them, these humble peanuts offer a uniquely Thai flavour experience which is truly unlike anything else.
I guess you could say they taste like this: