Gwen MOores Japanese Foodand Culture


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Japanese Food and Culture: 

Japanese Food and Culture

The Island of Japan: 

The Island of Japan

The Meal (gohan): 

The Meal (gohan) Two Kinds of Food: ‘Staple’ and ‘Other dishes’ Staple (gohan) is rice Other dishes (okazu) are fish, meat, vegetables

Traditional Concept of Meal : 

Traditional Concept of Meal Neutral flavor of rice considered complement to meal Fill up on gohan, okazu stimulate appetite Traditional meal has no Western counterpart Sake = rice, so the two are not consumed simultaneously Most basic meal: rice, soup, side dish

Courses of a typical Japanese meal today: 

Courses of a typical Japanese meal today

Side dishes with rice and with sake: 

Side dishes with rice and with sake

The Table : 

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 andgt; Women, Elderly andgt; Junior

The Table: 

The Table Chabudai Low dining table Adapted from Western dining tables 30 cm high More convenient than zen ●Fewer plates set ●Cleaner Indicative of culture change

The Table : 

The Table Table and Chairs Today Western dining table and chairs are adopted Began with farmers (to avoid mud on tatami floor) Gradually spread in popularity As Japanese economy grew and democracy expanded, expensive Western furniture was in vogue

Zen and Chabudai: 

Zen and Chabudai

Chopsticks and Manners : 

Chopsticks and Manners Japanese differ from Chinese Made of lacquered wood Women and children have smaller chopsticks

Chopstick etiquette: 

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: 

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, etc. Traditional etiquette has not made the transition


SOUP Soup Present at all meals ('one soup, one side dish, and rice' for the minimum complete meal) Two kinds: Sumashi-jiru—clear stock/salt broth Miso-shiru—miso dissolved into thick solution Includes vegetables, meat, etc. to be eaten with chopsticks Broth is typically drunk from bowl, which is held in the left hand (chopsticks right)

Umami aka “Deliciousness”: 

Umami aka 'Deliciousness' Dashi—soup stock made chiefly from kelp but also dried bonito, dried sardines, and shitake mushrooms Acts as a multiplier and enhances flavor of other foods Called the 5th taste (not present in Western cuisine) Prof Ikeda Kiknae of Tokyo University isolated umami and produced crystal form known as monosodium glutamate (MSG) in 1908

Sashimi—Cuisine not cooked: 

Sashimi—Cuisine not cooked Japanese philosophy: 'Food should be enjoyed as close as possible to natural state' Sashimi—raw fish Raw -andgt; Grill -andgt; Simmer, depending on freshness of fish Prefer sea fish over freshwater because of the odor

Sushi—Fast Food : 

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: 

How to roll maki-zushi

Japanese Cuisine: 

Japanese Cuisine Suyaki—beef Fugu—puffer fish, delicacy Tofu and Natto--soybeans Tempura Noodles Pickles and Preserved Seafood Daikon


Dessert? 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 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: 

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: 

Western Influence Meat—started with army, sick soldiers developed liking for beef, and spread the Western custom throughout country (Sukiyaki) Pigs, chicken, horse meat cheap alternative Milk—influence of Dutch Began for nursing mother, the young, the weak 'stinking of butter'

Western Influence: 

Western Influence -As foreign foods are adopted, intake of rice decreases -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: 

Western Influence Bread—equated with rice so bread and rice not eaten together (like sake) Pizza

Squid Ink Pizza: 

Squid Ink Pizza

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