These days, I’ve been eating spinach and raw vegetables voraciously for some reason. I can’t seem to get enough of raw vegetables, especially the kind grown right here on the motherland of Japan.
It’s not because I want to lose weight, it’s because I just enjoy the taste of fresh vegetables. I like adding things like fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, some romaine lettuce(sp?), and cheese and then I top it all off with bacon bits and a nice blue cheese dressing.
As a result, I have become more regular( I though people would like to know that) and afterwards I feel really good inside. Living over here in Japan has really given me an appreciation for fresh Japan grown produce, and I think the reason why is because Japan’s food culture is rich in produce.
Just about every meal that’s served has some vegetables added to it, and I mean fresh and delicious vegetables. This has a lot to do with the size of Japan’s agriculture market; small, less quantity in exchange for higher quality, and better techniques for growing are what contribute to the quality of Japan’s produce. In the end, it’s amazing what most Japanese people take for granted, nowadays.
In the industry I work in, we prepare people for life overseas. We assist them in their relocation and their study abroad programs. What’s interesting is when after these customers return to Japan, almost all of them comment on the food of other countries. They always mentioned about how much they had missed Japanese food and how it was the best food in the world after returning home!
Stories like this would abound about how most Western diets lacked vegetables and overall taste and presentation. What’s ironic, though, is that before those same people went abroad they were bellyaching over how uninteresting and unoriginal Japanese cuisine was to them, and at how routine the dishes appeared, and then finally realizing after they’d returned home that their native cuisine was much better.
I’m mean…what were they thinking ? Maybe they were thinking that every Western dish looked like French cuisine, or like something that they had seen on T.V., or maybe they were expecting every host family to offer a course menu every single day replete with vegetables of every kind with sautéed onions. Some probably would go as far as to expect wine, too….
(“Ooh, I’m going to England, all the food in England must be better than Japanese food”).
Back in L.A., where I’m from, the salad was something you could expect only when you ate out at a restaurant, or at a guest’s house. At my own dinner table I had rarely, if ever, eaten a salad. I always went straight for the main course. I didn’t waste any time consuming my meat and potatoes.
My refrigerator was replete with every meat you could imagine; pork, beef, chicken, and so on. Salad…? No way…. Nowadays, now that I’m living in Japan, my refrigerator is even more replete and very well organized with an assortment of goodies. In my freezer, I have a wide variety of frozen foods ranging anywhere from frozen shrimp to frozen fried rice and then neatly packed on the side I have 30 packets of “aujiru” kale juice which I get on the tenth of every month. I manage to squeeze in 800 grams of ground beef on top of it all.
In the main fridge, I have a plethora of juices and eggs – 4 dozen eggs ! There’s a 2 kg. bag of sharp cheddar cheese on the second shelf along with a fairly large jar of kimuchee which I love to stuff my face with especially over hot rice and pork. On the top shelf, there’s a large rare cheese cake that had been baked at Costcos; about 12 slices worth are what’s left.
I’ve also noticed another thing too, I’ve become steeped in literature from as far back as the classics all the way up to the present, especially with the epicurean lifestyle of Epicurus himself, who too was a true hedonist and lover of sensual pleasures from an aesthetic point of view.
I also find myself listening to lectures from eminent scholars and teachers like Michel Serres and Rene Girard. I have become steeped in their rhetoric. When I find myself indiscriminately going through my library looking for something on their lectures I’d get frustrated, but in the end I would collect myself.
Could this mean something?