January 22, 2007

We now return to our...um, food.

So, it's been a while since I posted, as I've been acclimating myself to new surroundings - OSAKA-freakin'-JAPAN.

Yup. And trust me, my food adventures have continued. But! As I've compiled nigh-unto 2.5 months in good ol' Nippon, there's a lot of food to be discussed. For your (and my, because otherwise I'll have issues remembering how many things there are) benefit, a brief snapshot-y, list-y type thing for discussion and introduction, to be expounded upon at length at a later date.

Things of Excellence:

• Osaka street food is delicious, e.g. takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and these DELICIOUS pancake-type sandwich-y things filled with vanilla pudding/custard.

• Cup Noodles can in NO WAY COMPARE to real ramen.

• Festivals at temples produce amazing snacks. I'd like to see carnivals in the U.S. up their game appropriately.

• Conveyor-belt sushi ("Kaiten-zushi") is cheaper, fast, and tastier than a lot of sushi I've had in Northern Virginia. 28 pieces of freshly-made nigiri sushi for $15 USD? Unheard of.

Dotombori.

• Chu-hai. Made from Shochu and soda, with flavorings like lychee, plum, grape, lime...it's the perfect beer replacement, since beer here is on the poor side.

• On a similar note, liquor is shockingly cheap. Example: 750ml of Absolut? About $14 USD.

• Oh, you crazy Japanese people. Your snack food verges on the surreal. I've never had so many varieties of Pocky at my disposal. And might I add, the honey and milk Pocky are totally my favorite.

• All varieties of seafood live up to reputation (extraordinary quality and freshness)



Things that make me So Very, Very Sad:

• So far as I can tell, cheese here is a travesty. Someone mail me some Parrano and Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam, dammit.

• "Authentic Ethnic Food" restaurants are like urban legends.

• You call this a supermarket?

• This...this isn't butter. Holy crap, it doesn't even melt at room temperature if left out for an hour!

• So, that was a little bland. Have any kimchee? Red peppers? SRIRACHA?? Please?

I DON'T HAVE AN OVEN IN MY KITCHEN?

That's not everything of course, but as a primer, it'll do. I'll be back to rant/rave soon!


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1 comment:

Jason Truesdell said...

I love dorayaki, the bean-filled or sometimes custard-filled pancakes you mention above... but they're not too difficult to make at home. Fresh taiyaki (fish-shaped) or ningyo-yaki (other shapes) waffle-like variations, on the other hand, are something I seek out on every trip.

I think Tenjin, Fukuoka is the capitol of street food in Japan... if you can make a weekend trip, give it a try.