Category: Food

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  • Nov.08

    SURIBACHI: Groovy Grinding

    Nov.08 Elizabeth Andoh

    Every food culture is challenged to find ways of transforming unpalatable, indigestible foods into nourishing, tasty fare. Grinding and crushing is often part of that transformation process, helping to release nutrients and flavor otherwise locked into grains, seeds, leaves, bark, nuts, roots and tubers. A variety of tools have been developed throughout the world to…

    Oct.30

    DAIGAKU IMO: The Sweet Potato with a College Education

    Oct.30 Elizabeth Andoh

    While growing up in New York, I took lessons at The Art Student’s League on Saturday mornings. After class I would meet my father for a late lunch. His office was a few doors down from the Plaza Hotel (where Eloise had taken up residence in 1955) in the building next to Prexy’s. The burger…

    Sept.12

    A Taste of Culture – NANBAN-ZUKÉ: Southern Barbarian Cookery

    Sept.12 Elizabeth Andoh

    The Portuguese missionaries and merchants who came to Japan late in the 16th century arrived by way of southern waterways, settling in the port of Nagasaki, Kyushu. The Japanese referred to them as nanban jin or the “southern barbarians.” In addition to Christianity and trade, these early Portuguese visitors brought with them escabeche, a fried…

    Sept.08

    A Taste of Culture – Domburi Big Bowls

    Sept.08 Elizabeth Andoh

    The word DOMBURI refers to both the deep ceramic dish and the food served in it. Typically a generous portion of rice is topped with sauced meat, fish, and /or vegetables to make a filling, satisfying meal. Often left-overs are re-purposed in making the topping — a frugal and quick way to get dinner on…

    June.10

    A Taste of Culture – Kitchen Strategies

    June.10 Elizabeth Andoh

    TSUYU (literally, “plum rain”) arrives in Japan every year as spring turns to summer. Weather is newsworthy in the Japanese media, and a welcome respite this year from corona virus-related coverage. Just as the blooming of cherry blossoms is reported in detail, so TSUYU IRI (“entering the rainy season”) is also rigorously tracked. The average…

    May.24

    Bubbles, Foam and Froth

    May.24 John Gauntner

    and what they tell you… Sake brewing today has become very scientific. But long ago, before the days of thermometers, hydrometers, and barometers, brewers relied entirely on their five senses to gauge the progress of a fermenting tank of sake. As a curious side note, one toji told me that they compared the accuracy of…

    May.11

    A Taste of Culture – TSUDOI PROJECT

    May.11 Elizabeth Andoh

    TSUDOI 集 means “get-together” in Japanese… it is the opposite of social distancing. Here in Japan, the mandate for social distancing is worded differently. We are cautioned to avoid MITSU no MITSU (三つの密) or 3 kinds of situations (that begin with the same calligraphy, MI ) : MIPPEI (密閉)– poorly ventilated spaces, MISSHU(密集)– crowds of…

    May.02

    Hard Water and Soft Water Together in Sake Brewing

    May.02 John Gauntner

    Of course they do… I do not get to Ishikawa Prefecture often enough. It sits nestled basking in its historical glory, on the Japan Sea side of the country, its rich history former reputation for wealth and opulence in stark contrast to mellowness and sleepiness that pervades much of the prefecture today. During my most…

    Apr.13

    A Taste of Culture – RICE BUNDLES by Elizabeth Andoh

    Apr.13 Elizabeth Andoh

    Some people call them OMUSUBI, others call them ONIGIRI, the Japanese language today has two words for pressed rice bundles. Both begin with an honorific “o,” showing that rice, no matter what you call it, is a food to be honored. Each of the words, onigiri and omusubi, derive from verbs that describe the compressing…

    Oct.09

    A Taste of Culture – UMÉ SHIGOTO

    Oct.09 Elizabeth Andoh

    Incessant tsuyu rain is soon to be supplanted by sultry summer days. That’s when the emphasis in the kitchen, shifts to sawayaka “refreshing” foods, and sappari “clean” tastes. By the way, these words can also describe someone’s outlook or attitude to life, in general: sawayaka na kibun (a bright, buoyant mood) and sappari shita hito…