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A taste of Japan comes out of Amesbury

A life-changing moment can come when you least expect it. For Newton resident Sarah Sturtevant, it happened on a business trip to Japan in 2013. With no time for lunch, a colleague returned from a convenience store with the popular snack, onigiri — a rice ball in a triangle or cylinder shape with a savory filling wrapped in nori (dried seaweed). “I was hooked at first bite,” says Sturtevant. The snack is well liked in Europe and Asia and actually dates back to 11th-century Japan. Fast forward to the present: Sturtevant left her career in equity management and set up a plant in Amesbury with equipment from Japan. Three years ago, she began to produce a modern version of the on-the-go snack she named yuso. The Japanese-inspired treat is triangle-shaped and a sequence of textures — crispy Japanese nori on the outside that snaps under your teeth and wraps around a pad of California-grown sushi rice filled with either smoked salmon or spicy smoked salmon, Thai peanut smoked mackerel, spicy sesame chickpea or pickled umeboshi plum (about $5.49 each). The fish is sustainably farmed and the sauces house-made. “Ours is a global fusion of taste and different than the ones in Japan,” says Sturtevant. The cellophane packaging has a center strip and opens like a pack of gum. No utensils necessary. Available at Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing, 8 Summer St., Boston, 617-456-5111; Wollaston’s Market, 369 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-247-0011; Cambridge Naturals, 23 White St., Cambridge, 617- 492-4452; bfresh Market, 240 Elm St., Somerville, 857-997-2292; Brothers Marketplace, 446 Main St., Medfield, 508-359-6850.