“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.