Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh Japan, you delicious terrifying country

Yesterday I ate a bag of crisps (chips) the size of my torso. And then felt (deservedly) sick. Usually I'm not a savoury snack kind of person, but there's a weird thing here that makes you buy anything western you see, as if it were coated in gold leaf and contained your salvation. I went to Nagoya to get a reentry permit put on my passport and bought a big bag's worth of western food from the foreign food store there. Nagoya is about an hour and a half away by train so given that I won't be making the trip very often I thought I'd stock up on a few days.

I then spent the last three days demolishing it. And the last two days paying the gastronomical price for my gluttony.

The thing is, food is good here. Or rather, generally speaking, the food I eat here tends to be quite good for me. I don't really like the chocolate here and the Japanese pallet doesn't run to the over sweet (curry doughnut* anyone? How about hot shrimp*?) which cuts out a lot of the big 'craving' foods for me. Though I've formed a new attachment to Hagen Daaz green tea flavoured ice-cream, they only sell it (and most other ice-cream) in single serving tubs. The fact that I don't ride a bike also means I do 40 minutes walking a day here (20 minutes to work, 20 back, with books and a laptop on my back in blistering heat) and I'm telling you nothing fells better afterwards than some chilled (though sadly, horribly expensive) fresh fruit out of the fridge, and an icy bottle of green tea.

Speaking of green tea, the Japanese people have yet to find a food they couldn't put green tea into. I'm trying to compile a list of everything I see to then find the strangest item. Current participants:

Green tea pocky
Green tea kitkat (really gross)
Green tea doughnut
Green tea belgium waffle
Green tea yoghurt
Green tea ice-cream

I will add to the list with latest sightings as and when is necessary.

*Oh, I only wish I was joking, Mister Donut you make me sad.


Lauren said...

it's funny because it's true. You have to stock up when you see western food, even if you don't particularly like it. Thankfully I have been able to steer away from the corndogs in the supermarket

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Your reporting is great. I love thinking of you way, way over there, stranger in a delightfully strange land.

I wonder if you could get a paying gig doing columns for a magazine "Dieter Abroad" or something. You do have a sense of humor and write well. I can see this happening.

Well, no big sweet tooth. Good for them. But I'm allergic to seafood, so I'd probably STARVE there.

Keep posting!

The Princess

Zanitta said...

naah, you could survive. You'd be livving off vegetable tempura and white rice, so you'd be pretty fat by the end of it, but you wouldn't be dead.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Well, I will confess. When we go to the Thai Japanese place, I will get the Miso soup, avocado sushi, and I love the salad with that ginger carrot dressing. And the Yasai Tempura (just the veggies). Unless I have chicken or steak teriyaki (and the one nearby makes crap teriyaki sauce), it's purely vegetarian for me.

I used to go to a place called Shiroi Hana years and years ago that had lovely, lovely, not utterly thick, not overly sweet, just perfect teriyaki sauce. It was only Japanese food by Japanese owner and cook. And it rocked. But I still wish I could eat seafood.


Zanitta said...

I'm not a huge shellfish/squid fan myself. It's not the taste but the texture just gives me the heebie jeebies. However I tried tako (octopus) when I got here and it was really nice.