Food day. 食べ物曜日 Part 1

Today’s post will be all about food – because I spent a lot of time looking at it, thinking about it, remembering it, cooking it, and eating it today (and yesterday…)  This is what I ate for a late lunch, at a tiny okonomiyaki shop in Onomichi:  Image

This is Hiroshima okonomiyaki.  You may notice that there is a layer of noodles on top.  Hiroshima okonomiyaki is cooked with the ingredients in layers, as opposed to Kansai okonomiyaki (which Wikipedia claims is the predominant version of the dish – and I ate it Kansai style in Canada so let’s assume Wiki is right about that), which has the ingredients all mixed together.  My dish was a layer of batter, then cabbage, seafood (miscellaneous – I definitely ate some squid and shrimp but who knows about the rest…), soba noodles (I could choose from either soba (this kind) or udon noodles), then an egg on top (fried) and a bunch of sauce.  It was stupendously good and very filling.  Can you guess how much it was?  500 yen.  (About five bucks.)  Mmmmm.  Tastes even better at that price.

Later in the evening, I deciphered the kanji on what I guessed was a slow cooker, and proceeded to make myself a batch of tapioca pudding with the last bit of tapioca pearls scavenged from a friend who happened to have some laying around in her cupboard.  I suspect she was sick of me asking everyone I met if they knew where I could find tapioca, looking through every corner of every grocery store for it, etc etc.  Homemade tapioca pudding is a wonderful thing, and as it was a rainy day today, I could pretend that I actually needed some warm, just-like-at-home comfort food.  In reality, I’ve just been on a bit of a foodie kick lately.  The poverty diet of rice and ramen grew old quickly and the last two days were a great break from that.

Yesterday, a group of friends had a potluck (maybe there’s a Japanese term for that, but I don’t know it) and in addition to takoyaki, tonkatsu, salads, curry, rice, fruit, cake, sweet potato fries (hardened, candied yam fries coated in doughnut glazing), and bottled drinks, some brought omiyage from their Golden Week excursions.  Food omiyage.  Mmmmm.  My kind hosts sent me home with leftovers:


If you ever get to Hakata (Fukuoka), get yourself some Hakata Torimon.  The writing on the package is not far off:  “It is what gives a peaceful and pleasant mind to the human race.”

There will be more Food Day posts to come, believe me.


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