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Strange taste

Some Japanese food addictions that are difficult to explain

Strange taste

When you think about faraway Japan, bright artistic images emerge - beautiful geisha, samurai warriors, and, of course, sushi. The life and habits of modern Japanese people are in many ways similar to those of Europe. However, it is not easy to taste certain dishes of Japanese cuisine. Why, for example, do the Japanese adore fermented (sour) beans with soy sauce, eat pickled lotus root with pleasure, and one of their favorite delicacies is a rice bun wrapped in a sheet of dried seaweed?

Japanese cuisine is an interesting phenomenon. Among the variety of its dishes you can find not only the world-famous sushi (寿司), but also all kinds of "tsukemono" (漬 物) (in Russian cuisine analogues are pickles), okonomiyaki (お 好 み 焼 き - a dish that is often called Japanese pizza), as well as ramen and Udon. In Russia, a large number of sushi bars, which are mainly served rolls, sushi and dishes of Pan-Asian cuisine. This is only a small fraction of what is really an amazing and diverse Japanese cuisine.

Man, quite conservative in food, in Japan can be difficult, because Japanese cuisine is very different from the usual for us Russian, European and even from pseudo-Japanese. The Japanese have a very special idea about the aesthetics of the cuisine of their country. They pay key attention to emphasize the primordiality and naturalness of their food, so they prefer natural, minimally processed foods. For the Japanese food culture, seasonality is very characteristic, they are sensitive to the change of seasons, which they try to emphasize in every way, using mainly seasonal foods. For example, in winter it's apples, persimmons, tangerines, pickles and fish. All this aesthetic system has its name - "Wabi-sabi". "Wabi-sabi" is a concept of beauty of what is imperfect, fleeting and incomplete, "if an object or expression can excite in us a feeling of light melancholy and spiritual thirst."

Speaking directly about the dishes of Japanese cuisine, it is worth starting with well-known sushi. This is the simplest and, perhaps, one of the most popular Japanese dishes. Initially, sushi was the food of ordinary fishermen, since they represent, in fact, a piece of raw fish on a "kolobke" of rice. Now, thanks to the ingenuity of the Japanese, all sorts of varieties of this plain dish have appeared: in addition to traditional salmon, tuna and scallop, almost everything is put on rice - shrimps, avocado, apple, scrambled eggs, fried pieces of pork and beef and natto. The last refreshment should be told in more detail. Natto - fermented (in other words, sour) soybeans. In my opinion, the thing is not very pleasant, but the Japanese absorb it with pleasure. In natto should be added soy sauce, then there are light brown "threads", which add a kind of aesthetics to the procedure of eating food. In Japan, there are a lot of small sushi restaurants and "kaitens", the main feature of which is a long conveyor belt, where all kinds of sushi, rolls, desserts go to and fro, and people take what their heart desires. After the meal, the waiter approaches you, counts the number of portions eaten (for empty plates) and writes out the bill. Very simple and convenient!

It is worth mentioning separately about okonomiyaki. The dish is very similar to a simplified pizza. The composition includes finely chopped white cabbage (although you can use Peking), eggs, water and flour. As additional ingredients, you can use anything: from chicken to shrimp, which are baked between the layers of this kind of "pizza". An important role in giving special special taste to okonomiyaki is played by a special sauce that is sold in stores under the simple name "sauce for okonomiyaki", it is sweet and sour and harmoniously combined with the taste of "Japanese pizza". Another highlight of the dish is the sprinkling of shavings of dried tuna, which is also sold everywhere as a complimentary item for the preparation of delicacies.

Noodles, along with rice, is the basic meal of the Japanese. In the Land of the Rising Sun it is used everywhere and in all possible variations. There is buckwheat noodles (soba). There is a so-called "round", larger than usual, the diameter of the udon noodles. There are noodles fuchoza, which is otherwise called "glass", while it is native Japanese is not, but really loved the local people! Eat noodles as simply with soy sauce, and with the addition of various ingredients - meat, vegetables, seafood.

Residents of the Land of the Rising Sun have a habit of borrowing the liked elements, including dishes, from other cultures. A colossal distribution on the territory of the country received curry, traditionally owned by Indian cuisine. The Japanese skillfully adapt the favorite element of foreign culture and "implant" it into the fabric of their own. This trend was also avoided by Japanese cuisine.

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