Contributor: Elizabeth Andoh

May.14

A Taste of Culture SORA MAMÉ

May.14 Elizabeth Andoh

SORA MAMÉ Fava Beans Fava beans have been part of the eastern Mediterranean diet (Egypt, Greece, Italy) for at least 4000 years. There are stories of monks from India traveling through China bringing favas to Japan in the Nara Period (710-794 AD). However, the first written evidence they were consumed in Japan is mention in…

Mar.08

A Taste of Culture SETSUBUN

Mar.08 Elizabeth Andoh

節分 setsu (season) + bun (break) Setsubun is literally a break between seasons and occurs several times during the year. But the setsubun that is noted on calendars today in Japan is on February 3. In China and many other places in Asia it corresponds to the start of the lunar New Year. In Japan…

Dec.09

A Taste of Culture ODEN

Dec.09 Elizabeth Andoh

by Elizabeth Andoh ODEN おでん Japan’s iconic ODEN is a slow-simmered, hodgepodge: fish sausages, daikon radishes, octopus, potatoes, boiled eggs, konnyaku (a broth-absorbing, speckled aspic processed from a tuber vegetable), and all sorts of tōfu. On the first chilly nights of autumn, oden is welcomed back to the family dinner table, pub-like izakaya menus and…

Sept.12

Autumnal Eggplant 秋茄子 “aki nasu”

Sept.12 Elizabeth Andoh

by Elizabeth Andoh Botanically a fruit, not a vegetable, eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a member of the nightshade family (as is the tomato and potato). Thought to have originated in India thousands of years ago, the Chinese were probably the first to make use of eggplant in a culinary manner. Widely known throughout Asia, eggplant…


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