Over the past two weeks, our team has been super daring when it comes to trying the great variety of foods in Japan. Before we left, we had talked about signaling each other if something was particularly interesting, good or bad. It hasn't been as organized as that, not in the least. Our first meal in Japan, there was the "oooh that looks very interesting" eye contact and the "let's see who tries it first" hesitation. Most everything past with flying colors.
Our first Rotary meeting was a little more interesting. Imagine a Bento Box filled with colorful foods, none of which you recognize. What would you do? With five guinea pigs, it gets a bit easier. I will say that we all tried almost everything. Each of us trying a few and subtly sharing results. My own read of the situation is, if they take a second bite, it is sound, if beer is consumed directly after, I should definitely try it, for the experience, if multiple sips are consumed along with a green face, stay away! There was only one item that warranted the warning label, and that was the snail. My hat goes off to Michelle who kept it down and who drank the beer to keep it down and warn us all that a very interesting food was just consumed!
I think that the team, on a whole, has been very impressed with the variety of Japanese food. It is not all sushi, sashimi, hibatchi and miso as we may have thought based on American-Japanese restaurants. We have come to love shabu-shabu (paper think beef cooked in boiling water and dipped in either miso paste or vinegar, and the veggies along with it), udon noodle soup, sukiyaki (great rice noodle soup), the variety of sashimi and vegetable salads.
And of course, the great dinners that we have on the tatami mats with food variety abundant. The Rotarians in this area have taken every care to make us feel at home, and show us the Japanese dinners in full style.
As for the styles of restaruants....that is another post! There is so much variety!