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Eating Japanese Food Part 1(revised)
Eating Japanese Food Part 1(revised)
Many people ask me about the Japanese food. Contrary to popular belief, all Japanese food is NOT raw fish. In fact, most of the food I eat is cooked in some fashion, although it may well be served up cold. The Japanese really don't care whether or not the food is dished out hot or not. They simply want the food.
When I first came to Japan, I had a difficult time eating anything that was raw. The look...the texture...the shininess of it...all caused my stomach to quiver a gentle "No thank you."
It should be pointed out that raw fish can come in two forms. There is SUSHI. Sushi is the one that is made from rice and seaweed rolled into a log and topped with some kind of raw fish. AND, there is SASHIMI, where they dispense with the pretense of the rice and seaweed and just splat the raw fish on your plate.
I found that the more I ate SUSHI, the more I grew accoustomed to it. Now, I can eat it. But sometimes, I wonder how I am going to put that REALLY fresh SASHIMI fish in my mouth. You know the type. The kind where it is still wiggling around. The kind where it is still looking at you, pleading for you to NOT eat it.
I recall at one particular culinary cuisine that I was visiting, a man chose a live fish, swimming gleefully around in a tank.
Not the man.
With naught but a gutteral "Hai!" the chef master swept the fish away from its bliss, slapped it silly and with a deft flick of his knifed hand, sliced it up there in front of the salivating customer. Unbeknownst to the fish, it was dead. It's mouth was still moving in a silent attempt to warn the others of what was in store for them.
Japanese food is like works of art for those that prepare it, working the dish as if it were a canvas! As a friend of mine once said about his ex-wife, "She may not be good to eat, but she sure is purty to look at." The same can be said for Japanese food.
However, I have found at times that the Japanese will not even bother with the plate.
Mind you, I am an adult. And one thing I promised myself a long time ago is that I would NEVER be afraid to try something new. I like to try NEW things in life. I try never to be scared to try anything new. I try to be brave enough to "give it a go" and see if it something is any good. YES...DO NEW THINGS!!!
OK...I think I made my point.
I remember a few years ago, I ate SAZAE (no....not the Jaanese lady from the comic strip of the same name). It is a sea snail from the Sea of Japan. I have eaten them cooked! And they are rather tasty! But never raw. And ENVER straight from the ocean floor!
But one time, I was swimming in the Sea of Japan and some kids were collecting them from the rocks underneath and eating them RAW!
And so one of the kids cracked a sea snail open and offered it to me and told me to eat it!
I tried to refuse but he WAVED it around in front of me...this LONG black wiggling de0-shelled homeless mollusk...back and forth as if it were a tantalizing bit of Italian chocolate!
Are you SERIOUS?
What could I do? Was I less brave than some little kid? I am a MAN! I am over 40 years old. Is this little KID tougher than me????
I sighed and smiled the smile of a man condemned to his fate and popped that puppy into my mouth, chomped down and swallowed!
I am sure many women are familiar with a scene similar to the one I have just described...sans the chomping part.
It was TERRIBLE! The taste! The feelin of disgust! The absolute HORROR of knowing something LIVE was in my mouth and NOW in my stomach...HOPEFULLY now dead!
I am sure many women are familiar with the scene I I have just described.
And made my stomach hurt too!
I am sure many women...oh...you get the picture!
BUT... I did it! And I would do it again... because I have that promise to keep. I would do it again to live LIFE to the fullest! I would do it again because...well...mostly because I'm stupid.
....to be continued