|Ouishi! (Photo credit: Luke Chan)|
Lets begin with my favorite Japanese food, okonomiyaki. Have you never heard of okonomiyaki before? Well, if you haven’t, I’m sorry that you're missing out on one of life's greatest mayonnaise topped joys. The are of cooking okonomiyaki has two predominate schools of thought, Hiroshima style and Osaka style. Both are made with batter and whatever the person in the kitchen can find to throw into the mix. Ok, well maybe that's not entirely true but generally some octopus, shrimp, and/or beef is thrown into the mix along with some diced veggies. But the big difference is the inclusion of yakisoba noodles in Hiroshima style. Of course this has resulted in a rash of okonomiyaki gangs meeting in the street and fighting à la West Side Story. Well, maybe not, though some people are very opinionated about their okonomiyaki. However, feel free to disregard any critic, the beauty of okonomiyaki is that it can be made however you want! That is, of course, as long as you're not a heathen that eats okonomiyaki without mayonnaise.
|Udon (Photo Credit: Toyohara)|
The Japanese love noodles. How much do the Japanese love noodles? They love them enough for there to be over 20,000 noodle restaurants in Tokyo alone. That's not counting the outlying cities like Yokohama, Matsudo, and Saitama. That works out to an average of 9.1 noodle restaurants per square kilometer in the city of Tokyo. While I am left curious as to where to find these statistical 1/10th scale noodle restaurants, I can vouch that every other restaurant in this city is a statistical full size noodle shop.
|Is this small enough to be one of the mythical 1/10th restaurants? (Photo credit: A World of Flophouses)|
So why do the Japanese like noodles so much? Well because they're delicious and cheap! There's also all sorts of variety when it comes to the noodles! There's udon, ramen, soba, yakisoba, somen, chanpon, hiyamugi, tsukemen, rice noodles, and many, many more! You can have them hot, you can have them cold, do you want them lukewarm? I'm sure there's a restaurant that does it! Do you want lamb in your Udon, no prob! As Journey said, "Any want you want it, that's the way you need it!"
|Anko (Photo credit: Ai)|
So far i’ve been giving Japanese food amazing praise, though, no one is perfect and neither is Japanese food. One of the worst experiences in life I find is to not be included in a group that you want to be in. Such is my case with the people who like anko. What is anko? anko is sweet bean paste that is put into many Japanese sweets. Some even put anko into their ice cream. However, I can not stand it. The reason is because Louisiana red beans have the same texture as anko but instead of being sweet, they’re dry tasting. Because of the two beans sharing a texture but not a taste, I can not enjoy them. I want to enjoy anko, and though the heart is willing my stomach is not.
|Black Goma Dofu (No photo credit because the website google images links to is currently down. Also only two images of black goma dofu exist on the internet apparently)|
The eighth amendment of the US constitution bans the use of cruel and unusual punishment. However Japan is not defended by the US constitution. The third article of the Geneva convention bans cruel and unusual punishment, however, though Japan did sign the treaty, they did not ratify it. So in this land of Japan we are left completely undefended from the true darkness that lurks within the hearts of man. Eating goma dofu. More specifically back goma dofu. Goma dofu is “tofu” but made from sesame. So I am going to save you the torture of trying this unholy abomination, It has the texture of thick jello and the taste of Satan’s running sock. It is the only food I have tasted in Japan that I could not bring myself to swallow. For as long as I live, I believe I will always be haunted by the memories of the cold october night that I tried goma dofu for the first time.