Japan has a lot of delicious foods. It is a rich part of their culture. Just turn on the TV in Japan and you’ll find so many programs on all different kinds of foods from shopping, cooking, to eating! They present it so well that I am often left with my mouth watering and very hungry.
I hail from Southern California. I feel so blessed to have come from a place so rich with authentic tasting food. Little Tokyo in Los Angeles has great restaurants that I can honestly say tastes like actual food in high quality restaurants in Japan. It is truly authentic. I can say the same about South Korea. It actually made me homesick for Southern California because the food in South Korea actually tasted like the Korean food I have eaten at home.
Being Japanese American myself, I grew up with Japanese food. It’s probably one of the few things that my family does that is Japanese since we don’t speak the language or practice Japanese culture. My dad doesn’t even take his shoes off when he comes in the house! On that side note, taking your shoes off when you enter a home or even in places like school or a hospital is a Japanese tradition that I LOVE! Less need to vacuum!
I have met other Americans in Japan that have seen many different kinds of food in Japan for the first time in their lives. That is not the case for me due to where I grew up and being Japanese American myself. However, there are two very exotic foods that I have NEVER seen in America and doubt I ever will!
The first one is horse. That’s right, horse. And, get this, you know how Japanese people eat raw fish and sushi? Well, they eat raw horse too!!! It’s called, basashi. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, it is delicious! You have to eat it at the right places though. Don’t go to a cheap dollar sushi place. Buy it at a nice restaurant, or better yet the grocery store. Of course look it over as you would any other meat and see if it is fresh looking. Horse has a different flavor than raw beef, but it is simply divine. I know I won’t get to eat it when I return home to the states, so I am eating as much as I can while I’m here. I want to add though that many Japanese people have not tried this delicacy because it is only offered in certain places. I am really lucky it is so readily offered here where I live in the southern island Kyushu.
The next one is whale meat. I know what some people may be thinking. I guess I am too adventurous because I love trying anything new and edible! Especially if it is a special cultural food that has been enjoyed for generations. Whale is incredibly scrumptious as well. You can really tell that whales are mammals because it has the taste and texture of red meat and tastes nothing like fish. There are entire stores devoted to selling whale meat. I have had it a few times since I’ve been here. The first time I had it, it was in a fried cutlet form (katsu). An amazing experience and my mouth is watering even now remembering that moment! Again it has a different flavor from beef, but very tender, juicy and the fried covering was the perfect crunchiness and not too overpowering. The other times I ate it from a can. Wasn’t as exciting as the first experience, but still definitely tasty.
I realize me sharing these two exotic foods I am being controversial. There is a reason why these foods are not available ANYWHERE in the states. Well, at least I don’t think they are… if they are please let me know!