Food Picks

Hotate topped with kani, uni and ikura

Hotate topped with kani, uni and ikura

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener



Fussy – how I ate in my previous life. Briefly, in my teens, I would flippantly say “I’m allergic” to get away with avoiding certain food without having to explain myself. Of course, did never worked around the large, round table of a full on Chinese family dinner.

Oh, how that has changed!

I thought I did not like food, except for grandma’s cooking, and when Dad took us for steak. Now I realize, I just did not know. My grandmother is adventurous with food (she was also a death-defying  acrobat so…) and often challenged my once-narrow-minded eating habits.

I have no memory of how I fell in love with seafood. It was like I woke up one day and suddenly appreciated the flavor and texture of crabs and prawns. What I do have a memory of though, is Ula educating me about food – I discovered the pleasures of eating and started to understand both the art and science of food.

In moving to Japan, and during my travels, I embraced fully that I was a fool who knew little about food and nutrition. There are so many ingredients and preparation styles I never even heard of. Visiting farms, distilleries and taking hikes in the rural areas has completely reshaped my thinking of food and the stories behind each ingredient. The more I appreciate the work that goes into making real food, the better they taste. The more I learn, the more I crave to know.

Documenting my pupilage is a good way for me to digest information and preserve memories.


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