Shelf Life: Meshuggah Marinades at Wal-Mart

What's the first thing you think of when you see soy sauce? Chow Mein? Sushi? Somehow, gefilte fish and matzo don't make the list for me. That's why I was surprised to see this quirky little line of sauces and marinades at Wal-Mart.

The brand is called "Soy Vey!" and the blue and white bottle with faux Hebrew lettering indicates it's exactly what you'd think -- Jewish teriyaki and soy-based sauces. I almost broke out into rollicking laughter over the "punny" name right there in the middle of the aisle. Turns out they're kosher too!

Apparently this all started at Humboldt State University back in the '80s. One worker at the college's business center brought in a potluck dish made with a tasty sauce from her native Hong Kong. Eddie Scher, who worked in the college's arts center, loved the stuff. He hooked up with her and the pair started selling the marinade at local fairs and festivals.

Later, when the couple wanted to make the business venture official, proud Jew Eddie came up with the name "Soy Vey!" Puts a smile onto your face when you exclaim it aloud, doesn't it? Oddly enough, Soy Vey! isn't soy sauce. The original flavor contains hoi sin (Chinese barbecue) sauce plus spices including garlic, sugar, vinegar, sesame seed and chili. According to the package, you can use it on almost anything, from fish to eggs.

Nearly thirty years later -- ouch, I feel old -- Heidi Chien and Eddie Scher's company offers five different marinades, including the original (now called Garlic Asian Glaze & Marinade), teriyaki, island teriyaki, wasabi-flavored teriyaki and a Chinese chicken salad marinade. And considering several flavors are sold at Wal-Mart, the company must be raking in dough these days. Ahf Mir Gezogt (I should be so lucky)!

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden