The Japanese are famous not just because of their cuisine, but they are also revered for their artistic way of preparing food. Their culinary art sets them apart from other nationalities with famous gourmet. Japanese chefs and Foodist are keen on creating new dishes. From the smallest Japanese candy to their food related events represent their gastronomical creativity. However, the popularity of their food comes with interesting facts that may even surprise you.
- Dancing Squid on Your Plate
If you are an adventurous foodist and have tried the most exotic food in the world, then you might know what odorigui is. Odorigui is the Japanese term for eating live seafood. Yes! The seafood (or sea creature) is alive when you eat it. This dish might have ice gobies, squid or octopus. Any seafood that is moving while you consume it.
One example is the “dancing squid” that went viral. They called it “dancing squid” as it moved its tentacles when a sauce was poured on it. Shirouo no odorigui is another example. These are live ice gobies ready to be gobbled up on your plate.
- That Brain-Looking, White Paste and Sea-Like Tasting Dish
People might think that shirako is another weird Japanese dish. Shirako is fish sperm served on top of rice. It looks like a scoop of brain on your plate that has a velvety, rich texture and slight sea-like flavor. It may seem gross at first glance but many people find it palatable once tried. This is really what’s interesting about this food.
While many who have not experienced it think its gross, little do we know they also serve it in other places. We just call it differently by the term “fish milt”. They include it in tuna pasta in Italy and others in Europe feast on fried fish milt. Fish semen is not so weird because others even crave for octopus and mollusk semen.
- Matcha is Not Your Typical Tea
Matcha is probably the most popular flavor today. You can taste it in any food, may it be your main dish, dessert or beverage. Its fresh, sweet and leafy flavor is the result of the farmer’s hard work. You are definitely wrong if you think that it is typically grown in the tea garden.
Matcha are pulverized tencha leaves. These plants are cultivated wisely to achieve their premium taste. And when we say wisely, their method of growing it is really smart. So how do they do it?
The right amount of sunlight brings out matcha’s premium quality. Farmers do this by shading the plantation with straw frames. When they are grown with overhead shading, tencha leaves expand because there is not enough sunlight to use for chlorophyll production. This results in soft and tender leaves with a sweet taste and vibrant green color.
The leaves are dried using cold air to retain their quality. Cold air is used because any amount of heat after harvesting degrades their flavor. Even the grinding process is meticulous. They are using traditional stone grinders which are cold to the touch. All these methods were developed in Japan. That reason they deserve all the credits of the well-known matcha even if the first seeds originated in China.
- Japanese Tea Ceremony
For non-Japanese citizens, a tea ceremony could mean just an ordinary afternoon break. It only sounds like a simple snack. On the contrary, a Japanese tea ceremony is a formal occasion. All participants are required to pay attention and do certain duties.
The Japanese tea ceremony signifies peace, happiness and harmony. Its aim is to build relationships through social interaction. It is an occasion where people should enjoy and relax. As simple as it may sound, but the etiquettes that need to be followed may be suffocating for some.
This is a quiet event that emphasizes pre-defined movements. The participants should keep the important aesthetics and should perform it with grace and beauty. It starts with a ritual where the guests will walk on a dewy ground as a symbol of purification. Next, they wash their mouths and hands using clean water in a stone basin for further purification.
Still breathing? Here’s more:
After the purification rites, they start greeting everyone and eat prior to tea pouring. The course of their meal depends on how formal the ceremony is. Even the utensils have specific position because their arrangement is very important in the ceremony. They also measure the cleanliness of the utensils. The tea whisk, tea powder container, scoop, bowl, dessert container, tea brazier and kettle should all be in their designated places and flawless.
Japanese tea ceremony is so formal that the guests have specific rankings based on importance. Its high standard of formality includes tea ceremony expressions. The basis of all these? Apart from peace and harmony, it’s mainly respect towards one another.
- What’s Up With Bust Up Gum?
You heard it right! Bust Up Gum. The most trending Japanese candy today. It is very popular among women because of its breast enlargement benefit. They claim it to be effective just by chewing it three to four times a day. It also claims that its good for blood circulation, fight ageing and remove stress.
Bust up gum contains compounds from pueraria mirifica, a plant proven to enlarge breast size by 80% according to studies. Isn’t that interesting? Women don’t have to go through expensive breast enhancement surgery. Because now, all it takes is to chew that gum.
- Grilled Lambs for Dessert
Let’s make it clear that these are candy caramels before it gets confusing. Why are they called grilled lambs? Because they taste like a grilled lamb. That’s right! This japanese candy is called Grilled Lamb Caramel. Japanese pride themselves for creating interesting treats. The reason why grilled lambs today are not only a main dish in the menu. But now they are desserts too.
There are well-known chocolate treats like chocolate-strawberry, chocolate milk, mint chocolate and so on. But chocolate squid? Imagine how it tastes. Ika is another mind-blowing japanese treat that is a combination of chocolate and squid. This may not be good news to all chocolate lovers but it is worth giving a chance. The saltiness of squid and the sweetness of chocolate works.