Friday, May 19, 2006

The Japanese Gourmet: how to rid your home of most of the unwanted gaijin

Last weekend, I met my dear buddies Atsushi, Nick and Takuya for some metaphorical ass-kickery in the form of a board game. But more on that later.

Nick and Takuya were delayed by women, or beer, or some combination of those things, so I met Atsushi several hours before the generally girl-repellant fun of playing board games was set to begin. Atsushi, being a stellar host, went to the trouble to prepare dinner. But not just any dinner....

Oh no.

It was a spread of foods that seemed purposely designed to send most westerners charging for the phone to order pizza or to the conveinence store to hold up mystery triangles of rice and loudly ask "chicken where? chicken where?!!?!!?" in broken japanese .

Here are some pics...

The spread, complete with rice beer
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Large Snails, shell and foot intact.
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Baby Squid. Imagine 20,000 leagues under the sea, then drop four zeroes.
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and of course... Pate! Plus there was also a delicious tuna salad and some crackers... so I'm exadgerating about the inedibility of it all. But hey, ok, now that I've gotten rid of Geoff's mother and any vegetarians in the audience, I can certainly tell you that I *LOVED* the meal.

After all, I'm not your average foreigner OR your average culinary adventurer. I love to try new things and enjoy new tastes. And lets not forget about some of the things I have eaten since coming to Japan. To be honest, this stuff is here because it LOOKS crazy, rather than because it IS crazy. You've all eaten escargot, and probably had calimari rings at some point in your life. So, this just has a little more shell, a little less deep fry, and two more eyes per bite.

The eyes were crunchy, actually.

PS: With regards to board games, we played none other than "Settlers of Catan", which is a brilliant game. It's brilliant because its saleable to everyone from geeks ("it's kind of like Civilizations!") to girls ("its kind of like Monopoly!") to tyranical despots ("It's kind of like taking over a small, hexagonal planet!"). We certainly played until 6 am, when it was time to stop drinking and join the monday morning commute.

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Valuable lesson of the day: Approximately 5% of Japanese commuters will reciprocate an early morning high five offered by a drunk white guy*.

*Sample size: ~3983 over 3 train lines. This survey is acurate to +/- 398 people, 19 drunken times out of 20.


.H said...

Hey! I can actually probably drink Rice Beer! I'll have to see if they have it here... How does it taste?

Merry Man In Japan said...

Pretty good, actually. It's called "hap-shu", but I suspect that they still use barley in it. There are taxes on beer here, so mainly they make this stuff to escape the tax (after a certain percentage of rice, it's no longer "beer").

I also found some edamame chips, made from 100% soybeans. I suspect you could eat them too...