Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food Glorious food?

So, for this month's challenge (and yes, I know it's the 13th already, but I've busy having a love affair with my new job, cut me some slack, people) I was asked to introduce some strange Japanese foods. As in, foods that are completely normal here but odd for anyone who's not. So, here are a couple.

Jakoten is basically smushed up fish that is then deep fried. It has a strange grey colour and doesn't really look like it should taste in any way good, because when does grey food ever taste good? If you can get past its appearance (because it's what's inside that counts) you'll find a delicious tasty snack. I always eat it as it is, but I've been told it's good with udon noodles. It's pretty popular in these here parts because it gets mentioned in Soseki's "Botchan", a 19th Century novel based in Matsuyama. The main character buys his jakoten from the station, so that's the most famous shop, but you can find it anywhere. I once watched the fish being smushed by a professional fish smusher, and it kind of put me off jakoten for a while. But as long as you stay away from the actual smushing process, you'll be fine.
As Jakoten isn't very photogenic, I took a picture of the bag it came in, just to improve it's media image a little.

I told you it wasn't very photogenic.
 Sakura mochi is very popular in this season, because of the cherry blossom reference. It's made from smushed up rice, has sweet bean jam in the middle, and is wrapped in a vine leaf. It's one of my favourite Japanese sweets, and I eat more than I probably should. They always seem to come in packs of four, which is good when I buy them for work where there are four of us in the office, but bad when I buy them for home, because there are three of us and the dog thinks the last one is for him. It never is.

So, which one do you think you would eat?


  1. I haven't tried the sakura mochi yet. I guess I'd better get onto that.

  2. I am a very picky eater. I would have to smell them first....

  3. Yeah, that looks pretty horrible.

  4. I'm starting to think all Japanese food is smushed up something now!

    I think I'd probably try both of those though. Although I'm allergic to fish.

    Congrats on the New Job by the way - glad you're enjoying it - sorry I haven't been by for a while! Also loved your blossom pics at the castle. And the strawberries made me drool.

  5. I'm one of those people who eat with their eyes so I find Jakoten a tad off-putting.


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