Random Japanese Food Oddities
Let’s do one more post about Japanese food, ok?
A good place to start is the Nishiki Market in Kyoto.
This is a large covered market, containing many passages lined with food stalls. We saw only a fraction of it.
We were particularly interested in Japanese street food, of which Nishiki was supposed to have many varieties. I’ve eaten squid in many ways, but never on a stick. If they breaded and deep fried it, they might be able to sell it at the State Fair.
Fish on a stick to the left, and barbecued eel on a stick to the right. I tried the eel, it was good.
Here’s some cooked poultry of various kinds.
I had to try the barbecued sparrow. As you can see, not a lot of meat on the bones. Didn’t really taste like much, either.
The sight of this food stall got me very excited. They had what looked like Japanese potato pancakes. I love potato pancakes.
The pancakes were a disappointment, though. Rather gummy and greasy.
I didn’t try the dried squid.
We’ve got our eyes on you!
Now onto a few things we found beyond the Nishiki market. What does the illustration on the package above, which I got from a vending machine, look like to you? I thought I was buying chocolates or maybe caramels. Wrong – it’s pickled quail’s eggs. Not bad, but not what I was expecting.
There are certain Japanese versions of western foods you may want to avoid. For example, the “salad lunch” above, with sliced hot dogs. There’s a Denny’s-type chain called Jonathan’s that I would stay away from. Japanese people seem to like their scrambled eggs runny and their bacon soft.
Regarding desserts, we discovered that folks in Japan like to put cornflakes in their ice cream sundaes.
Ice cream may also come on top of cubes of hard, unflavored gelatin. Also beans and unidentified starchy bits.
Bento boxes were one of the things we were enthusiastic about. We bought this one in a train station.
Opening it up, we found some noodles, a few bites of beef and pork cutlet, greens, a shrimp, and half a pickled egg. That thing in the middle that looks like a cherry is an extremely sour pickled plum.
We really enjoyed the food in Japan. Mostly, it was delicious. And if it wasn’t delicious, it was at least entertaining.