Japan Life #6 – Food
Japanese are skinny and they love their food. This can be easily surmised by the sheer number of food-related TV shows, which far outnumber any other type of prime-time shows that appear across all the channels.
Shows with titles such as “Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman,” about a salaryman, with of course, a sweet tooth who has given up his day job to follow his desires of eating sweets and blogging about what he has discovered in the world of desserts.
There’s Shinya Shokudo,“Midnight Diner,” about a local Tokyo diner only open from midnight to 7:00 am serving up any Japanese food its patrons request. It weaves in stories between the patrons and their love of specifically requested foods. One such episode was about an aging comic and his obsession with American Doggu, Corn dogs and the size of one’s phallus.
And the “Samurai Gourmet,” about a retired salaryman and his life after a long, dedicated career at the “company,” and the transition to retired life. Having found food as an obsession his make-believe counterpart, a samurai, go about the town in search of food adventures.
I enjoy watching these types of shows because I get to learn about Japanese food I have yet to discover.
While Japanese food has become popular worldwide, I am sure many of you have not yet tried some of the food I am about to reveal in the following paragraphs.
In the above picture can you name everyone of these Japanese delicacies?
In my neighborhood alone there are restaurants that serve just about every one of the above dishes.
What more can be said about this culinary delight. While many around around the world pay premium prices for sushi, here in my neighborhood and all over Tokyo you can find what are called “Kaiten Zushi,” or Belt Conveyor Sushi.
Notice in this short video the plates of sushi moving along the conveyor belt. This is kaiten zushi. And guess what? You get two pieces of sushi on a plate for the price of $1.00 (about 4 XRP at today's rate).
Dining in one of these establishments is quite the experience as you can see from the video.
Japan is known for having strange food. Come to think of it I would say most countries have their own representation of strange food. For some reason many think Japan has the strangest. Let me tell you about few.
Unagi in English is eel a very tasty dish served on a bed of rice.
It's hard to believe that before it is prepared it looks like this.
And now it is ready to eat.
Don't let the before picture fool you it tastes excellent. Kind of like chicken. No actually not at all like that. In fact it has a slight sweet chewy taste to it.
Natto is one of my favorite additions besides a cup of coffee in the morning.
Natto is fermented soybeans and is incredibly healthy, but for many is an acquired taste. It has an odd texture along with a somewhat sour taste. I can say after many years I have acquired the taste for it and have it a few times per week.
Less strange foods
There are some less strange looking and tasting food such as curry, which is nothing like Indian curry.
I eat curry every Thursday night after a long day of teaching at a curry restaurant that plays nothing but Beatles songs over the loudspeaker while you are eating. It is an odd concept, but somehow it works.
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