Japanese Food and Culture by vlq27948


									Japanese Food and Culture
The Island of Japan
          The Meal (gohan)
• Two Kinds of Food:
  – ‗Staple‘ and ‗Other dishes‘
  – Staple (gohan) is rice
  – Other dishes (okazu) are fish, meat,
  Traditional Concept of Meal
• Neutral flavor of rice considered
  complement to meal
• Fill up on gohan, okazu stimulate appetite
• Traditional meal has no Western
• Sake = rice, so the two are not consumed
• Most basic meal: rice, soup, side dish
Courses of a typical Japanese
        meal today
Side dishes with rice and with sake
                The Table
• Zen
  – Traditional, personal table
  – Box with tray, individual sets of bowls,
    chopsticks, spoons
  – 20-30 cm per side 15-20 cm high
  – Cleaned 3x a month
  – Location from kitchen indicated status
  – Men > Women, Elderly > Junior
               The Table
• Chabudai
  – Low dining table
  – Adapted from Western dining tables
  – 30 cm high
  – More convenient than zen
           ●Fewer plates set
  – Indicative of culture change
               The Table
• Table and Chairs
  – Today Western dining table and chairs are
  – Began with farmers (to avoid mud on tatami
  – Gradually spread in popularity
  – As Japanese economy grew and democracy
    expanded, expensive Western furniture was
    in vogue
Zen and Chabudai
    Chopsticks and Manners
• Japanese differ from Chinese
• Made of lacquered wood
• Women and children have smaller
         Chopstick etiquette
• Breaches of etiquette:
• Clutched, Piercing, Scooping, Cramming,
  Licked, Crying, Racking, Chewed,
  Dragging, Hesitating, Roving, Probing, etc.
• No sharing of chopsticks!
  – Spiritual contamination
• Chopstick rest
      Etiquette-As You Like It
• Traditionally: alternate rice and side dish
• Acceptable to hold bowl of rice/soup to eat
• Sake served warm
     However: Japanese table manners developed on
      the premise of eating from tiny individualized
      tables (zen), while using Japanese tableware for
      Japanese cuisine consisting mainly of rice.
     Today Japanese, Western, or Chinese-style utensils
      may be used, foreign foods are part of the cuisine,
     Traditional etiquette has not made the transition
• Soup
  – Present at all meals (―one soup, one side
    dish, and rice‖ for the minimum complete
  – Two kinds:
    • Sumashi-jiru—clear stock/salt broth
    • Miso-shiru—miso dissolved into thick solution
    Includes vegetables, meat, etc. to be eaten with
    Broth is typically drunk from bowl, which is held in
      the left hand (chopsticks right)
   Umami aka ―Deliciousness‖
• Dashi—soup stock made chiefly from kelp but
  also dried bonito, dried sardines, and shitake
• Acts as a multiplier and enhances flavor of other
• Called the 5th taste (not present in Western
• Prof Ikeda Kiknae of Tokyo University isolated
  umami and produced crystal form known as
  monosodium glutamate (MSG) in 1908
  Sashimi—Cuisine not cooked
• Japanese philosophy: ―Food should be
  enjoyed as close as possible to natural
• Sashimi—raw fish
• Raw -> Grill -> Simmer, depending on
  freshness of fish
• Prefer sea fish over freshwater because of
  the odor
         Sushi—Fast Food
• 19th century popular snack food
• Men majority of sushi chefs
• Dip fish side in sauce
• Pickled ginger between pieces to
  ―extinguish taste‖
• Nigari-zushi—rice with raw fish on top
• Maki-zushi—seaweed rolls
• Inari-zushi—bean curd pouch w/ rice
How to roll maki-zushi
           Japanese Cuisine
•   Suyaki—beef
•   Fugu—puffer fish, delicacy
•   Tofu and Natto--soybeans
•   Tempura
•   Noodles
•   Pickles and Preserved Seafood
    – Daikon
• Mochi—rice cakes
• Sugar historically rare
• Green tea taken after meals to ―quench
  thirst and change the mood‖
• Sweets taken with tea between meals
• Dessert stems from Western influence
          Sake v. Green Tea
• Sake wine and tea are opposites
• Sweet-tooth type or drinking type

• Ceramic cups, bowls, pots used for green tea
• Cups with handles used for coffee
• Milk and soda are served in glasses
    Culture Change
• Isolated for 2.5 centuries
• This period is known as the Edo period
• Allowed Japanese culture/cuisine
  to distinctly develop

• 1958 Japan forced to trade with US, Britain, France, Netherlands,
  and Russia
• Raw silk and tea
• Contact with Western culture  adoption of meat into cuisine
          Western Influence
• Meat—started with army, sick soldiers
  developed liking for beef, and spread the
  Western custom throughout country
  – Pigs, chicken, horse meat cheap alternative
• Milk—influence of Dutch
  – Began for nursing mother, the young, the
  – ―stinking of butter‖
          Western Influence
-As foreign foods are adopted, intake of rice
-Though adopt foreign foods, still keep
  traditional principles
     -Food modified for chopsticks
     -Soy sauce replaces special sauces
     -―reorder and reorganize‖ foreign
     elements to fit Japanese form
         Western Influence
• Bread—equated with rice so bread and
  rice not eaten together (like sake)
• Pizza
Squid Ink Pizza

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